Pensacola jury convicts Palm Beach Gardens man of online child exploitation

Nicholas Fogarty (PBSO)

A jury convicted a 36-year-old man from Palm Beach Gardens Tuesday for the advertisement and distribution of child porn, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The State Attorney's Office said that during the day and a half trial, the government presented evidence that an undercover investigator posed as a young girl on the social media platform Kik starting in June 2017. The investigator noticed that Nicholas E. Fogarty created the Kik group, “Tweenteenlove,” where child porn was shared online.

During the investigation, Fogarty told others to find and bring young girls to the online group, the State Attorney's Office said. Fogarty talked to the undercover agent online, and shared information such as directions to the dark web - a hidden Internet where child porn can be found.

After Fogarty’s arrest in South Florida, a search of his electronic devices revealed child pornography and a search browser for the dark web, according to the State Attorney's Office. Between 4,000 and 5,000 images and videos of child porn were captured from Fogarty during the investigation.

For the advertisement charge alone, Fogarty faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison, the State Attorney's Office said. For the distribution charge, he faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 8.

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