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East Hampton Man Held Without Bail on Charges Related to Child Porn

Michael S. Bonnet, a registered sex offender on probation, reportedly sent an undercover FBI officer sexually explicit photos of children.

Michael S. Bonnet lived on Cosdrew Lane in East Hampton. Credit: Google Map
Michael S. Bonnet lived on Cosdrew Lane in East Hampton. Credit: Google Map
A judge ordered an East Hampton man held without bail after his arraignment late Wednesday, accused of transmitting child pornography, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office. 

Michael S. Bonnet, 28, a registered sex offender who was still serving probation, was arrested on a complaint filed in federal court and is facing 15 years in prison if convicted, Nardoza said. A grand jury indictment, expected in the future, will determine specific charges, he said.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, Bonnet used the alias of "Bob Jones" to send images over email involving the use minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

A special agent with the FBI's Internet Crimes Against Children squad and a member of the Eastern District of New York Project Safe Childhood Task Force was part of an undercover operation on Feb. 24, 2013. The agent posted an advertisement to a Human Sexuality forum on a website known to the U.S. Attorney looking to trade "young hard core" pictures or videos, according to the complaint filed with Magistrate Judge William D. Wall.

That same evening, the agent received a response from "Bob Jones" using an email address that was made up of the initial in Bonnet's first name and his last name. He allegedly sent an email with an attachment of a sexually explicit photograph of a prepubescent female.

The agent then sent back a corrupted file that appeared to contain child pornography, but allowed the agent to see when the email was opened and what IP address was used, the complaint said.

Bonnet reportedly sent the agent two other files on Feb. 25 — one of a pubescent female performing oral sex on an adult man and another of a prepubescent female involved in a sexually explicit act. Communication then stopped.

The FBI then tracked the email to a Topix forum and found a posting where the user wanted to trade pornographic images under the user name "great times" who was located in East Hampton.

The agent searched the East Hampton area for the name in the email address and found Bonnet living on Cosdew Lane in East Hampton.

They discovered he is a registered sex offender, serving probation on a felony conviction of criminal sexual act in the second-degree. He was convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl on Feb. 26, 2008, the complaint stated.

Bonnet appears to be registered as a Level 1 sex offender, the lowest risk type, as his name does not appear on any public registry. Only Level 2 and 3 sex offenders appear on the public registries. Level 1 offenders still have to register with the local police departments.

The FBI brought Bonnet in for an interview on Oct. 24. According to the federal complaint, he admitted to having sent the pornographic images to the agent and that he traded and received child pornography with others.

He allegedly reported having 100 child pornography images on his current cellphone, and possibly others on an older phone. Investigators found numerous images of children 5 to 11 years old, including children whose identities are known to law enforcement.

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