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Sex offender sentenced to 10 years after using social media to share child pornography

Thomas Andreozzi, 60, of North Providence, was active on Kik, Snapchat, and Telegram, and had also been convicted in November 2014 for possessing child pornography

PROVIDENCE — A registered sex offender, who was the subject of three separate law enforcement investigations, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possessing and distributing child pornography.

Thomas Andreozzi, 60, of North Providence, had previously been convicted in Rhode Island state court in November 2014 for possessing child pornography, received five years probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

But in May 2020, he was found using an IP address by Homeland Security Investigations that linked him to “at least five different accounts” on Kik, a social media platform, to upload child pornography.

Andreozzi had sent messages to another person on the app that read, “I have lots of young stuff.”

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“I have little girls,” and “I have lots,” he wrote.

Separately, in June 2020, documents from an investigation show that members of the Rhode Island State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received reports that an individual in Rhode Island had uploaded and distributed 14 files of child pornography to their Snapchat account. The graphic images showed a pre-pubescent girl laying on a bed with a pink shirt, exposed below the waist. In another image, court documents show, a pre-pubescent boy was lying nude on a bed.

Both the images and the Snapchat account were associated with Andreozzi.

In July 2020, the FBI and the Winnebago County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Department were investigating someone who claimed to be a 30-year-old in California who was actively molesting a young female, images of which were shared on social media. When the FBI traced the IP address used to share the content, it was linked directly to Andreozzi’s North Providence apartment.

Law enforcement officers and agents came with a warrant to search Andreozzi’s apartment on Pleasant Avenue. When they arrived, Andreozzi was outside, and when he saw them approaching, he “fled into the residence and locked the door.” He refused to open the door and officers forced their way in. They confiscated a phone in Andreozzi’s hand and another that was sitting on a coffee table.

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The screen of the phone he was holding was open to MEGA, an online storage service, which allows users to store files on a cloud. Task force member and forensic analyst Gerald Gent saw numerous files that contained child pornography, in addition to Andreozzi’s accounts on Kik, Snapchat, and Telegram.

On the Telegram account, Andreozzi had sent another user an encrypted link to a MEGA account containing 961 files.

Images and videos that Andreozzi had distributed were submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for identification, according to Acting US Attorney Richard B. Myrus. None of the children have been identified more than a year later.

“What is known is that there are dozens of victims in this case, none of whom will have an opportunity to address the court,” wrote Myrus in court documents. “Their identities, sadly, are unknown. That fact is not unusual. The amount of child pornography trafficked on the internet by the defendant and others is staggering.”

He said nearly 60 percent of the unidentified victims in Andreozzi’s photos and videos were prepubescent.

Andreozzi pleaded guilty in August to possession of child pornography. On Wednesday, he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy to federal prison followed by five years of federal supervised release.

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Myrus wrote that in the 2014 case, Andreozzi received “significant leniency” when he was sentenced to probation.

“He was plainly undeterred,” he said.


Alexa Gagosz can be reached at alexa.gagosz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.