By Mark E. Vogler
---- — ANDOVER — An Andover man pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of child pornography and faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
William S. Thomas, 65, also could receive a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He is due to be sentenced Oct. 30 before U.S. District Court Judge Patti B. Saris.
The case against Thomas stems from an October 2010 investigation by the United States Postal Service and Canadian officials into a movie production company based out of Toronto which operated a website that offered DVDs and streaming videos for sale. Most of the films involved young prepubescent males.
As a result of a search warrant executed in May 2011, investigators seized thousands of videos, DVDs, photos, computers, business records and shipping labels. They determined the films were being shipped to customers worldwide, including hundreds of people living in the United States. From the records, they learned that Thomas was a customer and had purchased materials between 2005 and 2011.
Thomas was arrested last September on charges of receiving child pornography after U.S. Postal Inspectors seized more than 200 DVDs and CDs containing child pornography during a search of his Colonial Drive home.
Among those items seized from Thomas’ home were 10 DVD’s containing visual depictions of minor males engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Thomas told investigators he kept these DVD’s in the bedroom under his mattress since it was easier to get near his computer. He also added “I figured it was questionable material with their ages and that these DVD’s contain children in the nude from (10) to (17) years of age,” according to court documents.
At the time of his arrest, Thomas was working as a registered nurse at the Wild Acres Inn in Brookline, a mental health residential treatment facility. The facility suspended him without pay and the Massachusetts Nursing Board initiated action to suspend his nursing license.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Chief Brian J. Pattullo of the Andover Police Department, made the announcement yesterday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth G. Shine of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.