United States v. Cookson, No. 18-3070 (10th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Daniel Cookson pled guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography after the FBI identified him in the course of a large-scale sting operation involving the website “Playpen.” At his sentencing hearing, the district court determined Cookson’s criminal history and total offense level correlated to a Guidelines range of 97–121 months. The district court announced its intention to sentence Cookson to a term of seventy-two months’ imprisonment. But after entertaining argument from both parties, the district court imposed a sentence of five years’ probation. The Government appealed, challenging Cookson’s sentence as substantively unreasonable. Cookson cross-appealed, arguing the district court erred in refusing to suppress evidence obtained from his computer by the FBI pursuant to a warrant issued in the Eastern District of Virginia. After review, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s suppression ruling based on United States v. Workman, 863 F.3d 1313 (10th Cir. 2017), but vacated Cookson’s sentence as unreasonable. The matter was remanded back to the district court for resentencing.