United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division
AMENDED PRELIMINARY ORDER OF FORFEITURE
RICHARD L. VOORHEES UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
MATTER is before the Court on the United States of
America's Motion for Preliminary Order of Forfeiture. The
United States requests, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §
2253(a)(3), Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.2(b), and the Special Verdict
(Doc. 99) on forfeiture, that this Court order forfeiture of
the following properties that the United States contends
constitute properties used or intended to be used to commit
or promote the commission of the Count One 18 U.S.C. §
2251 A(g) offense of engaging in a child exploitation
enterprise and the Count Three 18 U.S.C. § 2251(d)
offense of advertising child pornography:
• One ASUS laptop, serial number E1N0CV090739012
(hereafter, “ASUS Laptop”);
• One Cruzer 128GB thumbdrive (hereafter, “Cruzer
• The real property at 3570 15th Avenue, SW,
Naples, Florida, identified in a deed to Steve Chase and
Barbara Chase, husband and wife, recorded at Book 2337, Page
0771 of the Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court, also
known as Parcel 37988440001, and more particularly described
THE EAST 105' OF THE EAST 180' OF TRACT 90, UNIT 27,
GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, ACCORDING TO A PLAT THEREOF RECORDED IN
PLAT BOOK 7, PAGES 17 AND 18, OF THE PUBLIC RECORDS OF
COLLIER COUNTY, FLORIDA.
(hereafter, “Naples Residence”).
good cause, this Court GRANTS the Motion. In support of this
Order, the Court FINDS AS
August 19, 2015, a Grand Jury in the Western District of
North Carolina returned a Second Superseding Indictment (Doc.
31; hereafter, “Indictment”) against Defendant
and others, charging Defendant with, inter alia,
engaging in a child exploitation enterprise as set forth in
Count One; a conspiracy to advertise child pornography as set
forth in Count Two; advertising child pornography as set
forth in Count Three; transporting child pornography as set
forth in Count Four; transporting child pornography as set
forth in Count Five; transporting child pornography as set
forth in Count Six; and possessing child pornography as set
forth in Count Seven. The charges were based on
Defendant's role as administrator of a worldwide child
pornography website known as “Playpen” on the TOR
network on the so-called “dark-web.” The
Government contends that Playpen facilitated the worldwide
sharing of in excess of approximately 100, 000 in images
among in excess of 150, 000 Playpen users.
Indictment also contained a “Notice of Forfeiture and
Finding of Probable Cause” whereby the Grand Jury found
probable cause that the Naples Residence was subject to
forfeiture. Defendant resided at the Naples Residence during
the course of the offenses. Further, the Naples Residence was
titled to Defendant and his deceased spouse.
pled not guilty and elected a jury trial. Ahead of trial, the
Government filed a Notice of Proposed Jury Instructions and
Verdict Sheet (Doc. 88) and a Trial Brief (Doc. 90),
informing Defendant and the Court that the Government
intended to pursue forfeiture of, not only the Naples
Residence, but also the ASUS Laptop and Cruzer Thumbdrive,
all such forfeitures based on the allegation that Defendant
used these items to promote his Count One, Count Two, and
Count Three offenses. Defendant elected (Doc. 89) to retain the
Jury to decide forfeiture.
the criminal trial, the Government introduced and the Court
admitted evidence that established, ...