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Former Nuclear Fuel Services vice president sentenced to five years for downloading child pornography

May 21st, 2012 8:36 pm by Matthew Lane

GREENEVILLE — A former Navy captain and vice president of Nuclear Fuel Services of Erwin was sentenced to five years in federal prison on Monday for downloading more than 7,000 images of child pornography from the Internet.

Timothy Edward Lindstrom, 57, received the 60-month prison sentence in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Monday. Judge Ronnie Greer also imposed a $15,000 fine on Lindstrom and ordered him to be on supervised release for life.

The prison sentence and fine constitute the minimum amount Greer could impose on Lindstrom.

Lindstrom pleaded guilty to the charge in December 2011 and faced up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of 97 to 121 months.

Lindstrom retired in 2006 as a captain in the U.S. Navy after 29 years of service, then served as the director of nuclear operations at NFS until November 2010.

According to court records, Lindstrom received more than 7,000 images and 21 videos of child pornography at his home from 2006 through February 2011.

Prosecutors say Lindstrom gave his desktop computer to an assistant at NFS as a gift in August 2010, and the assistant sold the computer to another co-worker, who then found the child pornography images. The computer was eventually given to the NFS legal staff, which delivered it to the FBI for examination.

The FBI found 592 images and eight videos of child pornography on the computer, along with more than 500,000 images of child erotica that do not meet the statutory definition of child pornography, child pornography sex stories in narrative form, and child sex cartoons.

Court records state the FBI then obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s new Apple iMac computer, and a forensic examination yielded 6,983 images and 13 videos of child pornography, along with 1.3 million images of child erotica.

Some of Lindstrom’s child rape videos exceed five minutes and included very young victims and victims in bondage, court records state. During the investigation, 11 different victims were identified within the material by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“These cases are disturbing, but the United States will continue to prosecute whoever is violating these laws and subjecting our children to these illegal influences,” said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

Johnson City attorney Richard Pectol — who represented Lindstrom — argued in a sentencing memorandum that from the moment Lindstrom learned of the investigation, he cooperated completely with law enforcement, admitting to downloading child pornography and promptly negotiated a plea agreement.

Prosecutors say Lindstrom used a fee-based online news subscription service to download large quantities of files and later mined them for child sex images. In addition, Lindstrom used a newsgroup reader and special search application to surf for and filter through the material.

“Lindstrom is a sophisticated child porn collector who would never have been detected if he had not given his old computer to the assistant at NFS,” court records state.

During the course of his career, Lindstrom was the commander of the USS Maine submarine, worked in the Pentagon for five years, and was commander of Submarine Squadron 20 of Kings Bay, Ga. Lindstrom received a number of citations, medals and commendations during his career in the U.S. Navy, including five Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Meritorious Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.

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