BOSTON – A United States Postal Service employee was charged today in U.S. District Court in Worcester in connection with viewing child pornography on USPS computers.
Stephen Mantha, 62, of Spencer, was charged in a complaint with possession of child pornography and accessing with intent to view child pornography. Mantha was arrested yesterday and detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Sept. 27, 2016.
As alleged in court documents, beginning in August 2015, USPS Office of Inspector General investigators were alerted to suspicious Internet searches being conducted by Mantha on a computer at the Shrewsbury processing and distribution center where he worked as an electronic technician. A subsequent investigation revealed that Mantha was utilizing the USPS computer to search for, and view, images of child pornography on the Internet.
On Sept. 21, 2016, a search warrant executed at Mantha’s residence recovered computers, DVDs/CDs, an external hard drive, and over a dozen thumb drives. A preliminary, on-scene, forensic review of three of the thumb drives revealed images of child pornography.
The charging statutes provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Eileen Neff, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; David Darrin, Chief of the Spencer Police Department, and James Hester, Jr., Chief of the Shrewsbury Police Department, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Mark Grady of Ortiz’s Worcester Branch Office.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.