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Man Who Operated Child Porn Servers On Dark Web Gets 27-Year Prison Sentence

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Many people engage in child pornography as viewers, promoters, and operators of websites. Those who are caught engaging in these crimes can be arrested and punished severely.

This was the case for an Irishman known as the world’s largest purveyor of child porn. He was recently sentenced to 27 years in federal prison in a Maryland court.

On September 15, Eric Eoin Marques, a 36-year-old man from Ireland, faced sentencing at a federal courthouse in Greenbelt. The man operated computer servers on the dark web. These servers allowed users to anonymously access millions of sexually explicit and illegal images and videos. Many were videos and images depicting the rape and torture of infants and toddlers. A lot of these images were so rare that law enforcement had never even seen them before.

Marques created an online community for sexual predators to abuse and exploit children. They were able to anonymously share the horrific images they created. The judge called the crimes “truly despicable” and compared the man’s crimes to those of a drug kingpin.

Before he was given his sentence, Marques apologized to the child porn victims. He also asked for a second chance, claiming that he had destroyed his own reputation as well as those of his family members.

Marques was originally arrested in Ireland in 2013 and has been in custody in Ireland or the United States since then. He is a dual citizen in both countries. Therefore, the judge agreed to give Marques credit for the eight years he has served in custody. As part of his sentence, Marques was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims whose images were distributed, in the amount of $87,000.

In a plea agreement between Marques and prosecutors, the recommended prison sentence ranged from 15 to 21 years. However, the judge rejected the plea deal, claiming it was “too flawed.” He felt that Marques needed a longer sentence. The revised agreement changed the sentence to between 21 and 27 years. Prosecutors recommended a sentence of 27 years, followed by lifetime supervision once he is released. The judge agreed.

In March 2019, Marques, who was living in Ireland at the time, was extradited to Maryland. He pled guilty to advertising child pornography. In February 2020, Marques pled guilty to operating “Freedom Hosting,” a web hosting service on the darknet, between 2008 and 2013. Law enforcement officials discovered more than 8.5 million images and videos of child pornography on the server. Marques’ lawyers claim that he is remorseful for his crimes and won’t do them again.

Contact a Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Child pornography is a crime that’s taken seriously. Even first-time offenses can result in prison sentences of 20 years or more. This is especially true since many of these crimes are federal offenses that cross state lines.

The Columbia child pornography lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. will fight on your behalf and help you get a favorable outcome. We will help you understand the rights guaranteed to you by the U.S. Constitution. To schedule a consultation, fill out the online form or call (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.

Resource:

usnews.com/news/best-states/maryland/articles/2021-09-15/man-called-largest-child-porn-purveyor-gets-27-year-sentence

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