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Child porn purveyor to get 21-27 years under new plea deal

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      jerroldmarler15
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      <br>COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – A man whom U.S. authorities have described as the world´s largest purveyor of child pornography would be sentenced to 21 to 27 years in prison under the terms of a new plea deal.<br> <br>The deal between Eric Eoin Marques and Justice Department prosecutors is designed to satisfy a judge in Maryland who rejected their original agreement, which called for a prison sentence of 15 to 21 years.<br> <br>Defense attorneys outlined the new terms in a court filing on Friday.

      They said a 21-year prison sentence would be “fair and just” for Marques.<br> <br>Marques’ lawyers also urged U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang to impose a condition of supervised release that would allow Marques to live in Ireland, Dark Markets 2022 his home nation, after he completes his prison sentence.<br> <br>Marques, who was 35 in May, is scheduled to enter his updated plea agreement and be sentenced next week.

      Chuang isn´t bound by the sentencing recommendation.<br> <br>During a hearing in May, Chuang described the initial plea agreement as “too flawed” and said he was inclined to give Marques a longer sentence than 15 to 21 years. The judge criticized a provision of the plea deal that wouldn´t give Marques credit for six years he spent in custody in Ireland while fighting extradition after his 2013 arrest in Dublin. Chuang said he can´t tell the federal Bureau of Prisons to refrain from counting those years when Marques likely is entitled to get credit for that time.<br> <br>”It´s not going to be 21 minus 6 to 15. That´s not going to happen,” the judge said.<br> <br>The new plea deal calls for Marques to receive credit for the time served.<br> <br>Marques, a dual citizen of the U.S.

      and Ireland, pleaded guilty in February 2020 to creating and operating a web hosting service called “Freedom Hosting” on the darknet market between 2008 and 2013.<br> <br>The darknet market is part of the internet but hosted within an encrypted network. It is accessible only through anonymity-providing tools.

      Marques’ service enabled users to anonymously access millions of illicit images and videos, many depicting the rape and torture of infants and toddlers.<br> <br>Investigators found what appeared to be more than 8.5 million images and videos of child pornography on the Freedom Hosting server, according to a court filing that accompanied Marques´ guilty plea.<br> <br>Marques was living in Ireland at the time of the offenses.

      He was extradited to Maryland darknet market in March 2019. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to advertise child pornography.<br> <br>In an April court filing, darknet market lists a prosecutor said a government witness was prepared to testify that investigators had identified Marques as the largest purveyor of child pornography in the world and that he had made approximately $3.6 million in U.S.

      currency from his servers.<br> <br>Marques’ lawyers say he made money from his legitimate web-hosting services, not Freedom Hosting.<br> <br>”Though the contents of many of the websites it hosted were despicable and unlawful, the evidence shows that Freedom Hosting was a free service until just before Mr. Marques´ arrest,” they wrote in Friday’s filing.<br>

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