Arlington, Virginia - An Air Force colonel was sentenced Friday to five years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for receiving child pornography.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger for the Eastern District of Virginia made the announcement.

According to admissions made in connection with his plea agreement, between November 2015 and June 2016, Mark Visconi, 48, received and attempted to receive child pornography using the Internet.  Visconi used an online bulletin board dedicated to the sharing of child pornography that operated on the anonymous Tor network to download child pornography.  A forensic review of his laptop showed that Visconi downloaded and viewed numerous child pornography images and videos.  Visconi previously pleaded guilty on Oct. 4, 2019.

Visconi also admitted to using his cell phone to create hundreds of apparently surreptitious pictures that were focused on the clothed buttocks of minor girls, including images that appear to have been taken with a camera angled upward underneath a minor’s skirt or loose shorts so as to depict or attempt to depict the minor’s underwear.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  Trial Attorney Gwendelynn Bills of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Whitney Russell of the Eastern District of Virginia are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.