Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Petrusky

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

May 25, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
DANIEL PETRUSKY

          MEMORANDUM

          GOLDBERG, J.

         On October 28, 2015, Defendant Daniel Petrusky pleaded guilty to a one-count information charging him with receipt of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2). On March 13, 2017, Defendant filed a pro se Petition for Habeas Corpus Relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2255. United States Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that the Motion be denied in its entirety. Defendant submitted lengthy objections to the R&R. For the following reasons, I will adopt the R&R, overrule the objections, and deny the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.

         I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         The factual history, as thoroughly set forth in the R&R, states:

In 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) took control of a website, called Playpen, on which individuals posted images of and links to child pornography. The Playpen website was operated on the Tor network. When a user accesses a Tor site using Tor software, his true IP address is hidden from the operator of the site. Because the FBI had difficulty identifying who was accessing the Playpen website, the FBI obtained a search warrant from a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, the location to which the FBI moved the website's computer. The search warrant authorized the FBI to deploy a Network Investigative Technique (“NIT”) to assist in identifying those who accessed the website. Pursuant to the warrant, the FBI was permitted to send communications to the computer of one who logged on to the Playpen site during the thirteen days that the FBI allowed the site to continue to operate. The use of the NIT caused the user's computer to send a signal back to the FBI, which helped the FBI identify its true IP address, and thereby determine where the computer was located.
Defendant, Daniel Petrusky, utilized the username “danny430” to access the Playpen site. The use of the NIT by the FBI caused a signal to be returned to the FBI when “danny430” logged onto the site. This information identified the true IP address from which “danny430” connected to the child pornography website and identified defendant's computer as the one accessing the site using “danny430.” Based on the above information the FBI determined that Petrusky was accessing the Playpen website.
On May 29, 2015, FBI agents obtained a search warrant from a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to search defendant's home, located within this district. During the search, the agents seized a computer and an external hard drive. The FBI examined and seized items and discovered still images and videos which contained visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The FBI also found a 170-page document entitled “How to practice child love, ” which included an introductory heading describing the publication as an “exclusive step-by-step guide for practicing safe and fun sex with children.” The FBI determined that the external hard drive contained approximately 436 videos and 1, 707 still images depicting minors, including prepubescent minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
At the time of the search, FBI agents asked the defendant to step outside his home away from the presence of his wife. Defendant admitted to the agents that he had downloaded child pornography a few months prior to the interview. He stated that he accessed a site via the internet using the name “danny430.” He further explained that he downloaded the file to an external hard drive.

(R&R 1-3.)

         B. Procedural Background

         Defendant pled guilty, on October 28, 2015, to one count of receipt of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2). On January 28, 2016, I sentenced Defendant to a term of imprisonment of seventy months, $7, 500 in restitution, ten years of supervised release, no fine, and a special assessment of $100. Defendant did not file a direct appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

         On March 13, 2017, Defendant filed a pro se motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255 and, on May 1, 2017, the Government filed a response. I referred the motion to United States Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Rueter who appointed counsel for Defendant. Following additional briefing, Judge Rueter issued an R&R on September 27, 2017, recommending that the motion be denied. Defendant, through counsel, filed objections. The Government filed a response to the objections and, on February 21, 2018, the Government submitted a notice of supplemental authority.

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         A. Standard of Review of a Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), a district court judge may refer a habeas petition to a magistrate judge for proposed findings of fact and recommendations for disposition. When objections to a report and recommendation have been filed, the district court must make a de novo review of those portions of the report to which specific objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C); Sample v. Diecks, 885 F.2d 1099, 1106 n.3 (3d Cir. 1989). In performing this review, the district court “may accept, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.