United States v. Chilaca, No. 17-10296 (9th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Dropbox, an internet company providing data storage, submitted a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that child-pornography images had been uploaded to a specific account. The FBI linked the Dropbox and email accounts to IP addresses and to a cellphone number. Executing a search warrant, FBI agents seized a desktop computer tower, a loose hard drive, and another hard drive. Each contained videos or images of child pornography and was linked to the Dropbox account, so that all images were accessible from Dropbox on the other devices. Charged with child-pornography possession, 18 U.S.C. 2252(a)(4)(B), the defendant unsuccessfully moved to dismiss a four-count superseding indictment as multiplicitous. Chilaca was convicted on all four countst and was sentenced to four concurrent 66-month terms, a lifetime of supervised release, a special assessment, and $6,000 in restitution. The Ninth Circuit reversed in part and remanded. Section 2254(a)(4)(B) makes it a crime to knowingly possess “1 or more” matters containing any visual depiction of child pornography; simultaneous possession of different matters containing offending images at a single time and place constitutes a single violation. The four counts charging the defendant with possession of child-pornography images on separate media found at the same time and in the same place were multiplicitous and constituted double jeopardy. No new trial is warranted. The panel remanded for resentencing on the remaining count.