Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that MICHAEL FERRO, 36, formerly of Avon, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to one count of distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on August 18, 2021, Ferro, using the Kik social media application, began chatting in a Kik group with an FBI Online Covert Employee (“OCE”) who was posing as a father of a 12-year-old girl. After Ferro determined that the OCE was engaging in sexual activity with his “daughter,” he sent the OCE a photo depicting the genitals of a child. Ferro then stated that he had more pictures to share, and expressed an interest in meeting the OCE’s daughter to engage in sexual activity. After confirming Ferro’s identity, investigators traveled to Ferro’s Avon residence late in the evening of August 18, informed him of the investigation, and seized his cell phone.
Ferro was arrested on a criminal complaint on September 29, 2021.
Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2022, at which time Ferro faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Ferro, who was released on bond, was remanded to custody at the conclusion of today’s court proceeding.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Avon Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy V. Gifford.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.