Hilo man gets prison in child porn case
By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer
A 31-year-old Big Island man has been sentenced to 44 months in federal prison for mailing computer diskettes containing child pornography to an undercover law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania.
Edward H. Kubo Jr., U.S. attorney in Hawai'i, said the case against Jay Abregana of Hilo stemmed from an undercover Internet operation on the Mainland.
Kubo said postal inspectors and investigators from the Pennsylvania attorney general's office posted an advertisement requesting videotapes depicting child pornography. Evidence in the case showed that Abregana responded to the ad by sending the undercover agent diskettes containing child pornography and expected to receive videotapes in return, Kubo said.
Officials raided Abregana's home in Hilo on Aug. 28 and found that he and his brother, Jed Abregana, each had computer diskettes containing child pornography. According to information provided to the court, some of the materials agents recovered showed Jay Abregana having sex with an underage male, Kubo said.
At sentencing Monday, federal Judge Helen Gillmor said a jail term was appropriate given Jay Abregana's exploitation of a child. Gillmor also ordered Abregana to receive sex offender treatment following his release from prison.
Jed Abregana, meanwhile, pleaded guilty in a separate case to possession of child pornography, which he said came from his brother Jay. Jed Abregana was on probation for a prior state conviction for sexual abuse of a minor at the time the federal child pornography offense was lodged against him.
Jed Abregana is to be sentenced Aug. 12 by federal Judge David Ezra and faces a prison term of two to 10 years.
Both men have been held in federal custody since their arrest. Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Tong prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the U.S. Postal Service's child exploitation section in San Francisco with help from the Hawai'i County Police Department, the FBI and the Honolulu office of the U.S. Customs Service.