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United States v. Buchanan

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
485 F.3d 274 (2007)


Facts

Joseph Buchanan (defendant) worked as a park ranger in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Each ranger had an individual computer. Buchanan routinely viewed pornographic material on his work computer. When confronted by his supervisor on multiple occasions, Buchanan admitted to this conduct and promised to cease viewing the pornographic material. While monitoring Buchanan’s computer, Buchanan’s supervisor found images of child pornography in Buchanan’s temporary internet folder. The supervisor downloaded the contents of the folder to a CD and contacted law enforcement. Buchanan claimed that the website he was visiting at the time contained both adult and child pornography. The FBI determined that the CD contained a total of 127 images. Fifty-four of the images depicted minors. The majority of the images were thumbnails, which would be displayed as preview images on a webpage. However, there were four larger image files depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Analysis of Buchanan’s computer also revealed several encrypted files containing thousands of pornographic images. Buchanan was convicted of four counts of receiving child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2) and § 2252(b)(1), one for each of the four larger files found in the temporary internet folder. Buchanan was also convicted of possession of child pornography under 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(A) for other images found on Buchanan’s hard drive. Buchanan appealed on the ground, among others, that the four counts of receiving child pornography violated the rule against multiplicity.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Owen, J.)

Concurrence (Benavides, J.)

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