Anthony Mangione: Ex- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official pleads guilty in porn case

 The former leader of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in South Florida has gone from spearheading the local fight against child pornography to facing at least five years in prison for transmitting sexually explicit images of children.

Anthony V. Mangione, 51, pleaded guilty Friday morning to a child pornography charge in the shocking case against the former ICE chief who once oversaw investigations of countless predators who exploited children. The 27-year law enforcement veteran was brought down the same way as many of those other defendants: an Internet provider flagged files being sent from Mangione's email account and alerted authorities.

Mangione, of Parkland, is looking at a mandatory five-year prison sentence and up to 20 years behind bars when he is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra.

Mangione, who had been out on bond, was taken into custody after his plea.

Federal prosecutors said Mangione transmitted at least 15 images of children between the ages of 3 and 15 years old with their genitals exposed.

According toBroward Sheriff's Office search warrants, his suspicious Internet activity dated back to 2003 with Mangione using a multitude of online screen names in recent years, including thismomspanks33 and PastorRobertM.

Mangione had no visible supporters in the courtroom Friday morning. He arrived at the West Palm Beach federal courthouse with his attorney, David Howard.

He answered U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hopkins' questions in a clear, steady voice. After the hearing, he took off his suit jacket, tie and belt, and held his hands out to be handcuffed by two U.S. marshals.

Howard declined to comment after the plea hearing.

Mangione, who headed ICE's regional office for four years, was placed on administrative leave in April 2011 when the Broward Sheriff's Office and FBI executed search warrants at his Parkland home and ICE office in western Miami-Dade County. A federal grand jury indicted him in September on three federal charges alleging he possessed, received and transported child pornography.

He spent three weeks in jail without bond following his arrest after prosecutors expressed concern he might hurt himself if he was freed. After a psychological evaluation, he was granted a $75,000 bond with requirements he wear an electronic ankle monitor and have no contact with children.

If Mangione hadn't taken the plea deal, he risked receiving a 50-year prison sentence if convicted at trial.

 

 

Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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