For Immediate Release - July 25, 2011

Berlin Man Indicted for Possessing Child Pornography

WORCESTER - A Berlin man has been indicted in connection with allegedly possessing child pornography on his computer, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

Michael A. Amato III, age 36, was indicted by a Worcester County Grand Jury on charges of Dissemination of Child Pornography, Possession of Child Pornography, and Improper Storage of a Firearm.

In August 2010, while conducting an undercover investigation into the possession and distribution of child pornography over a file sharing network, a member of the Pennsylvania State Police discovered a computer located in Massachusetts that contained numerous files the law enforcement officer knew to be child pornography. This information was provided to Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG's Office. Investigators from the AG's Office discovered that this computer was allegedly located at an address belonging to Amato. On October 22, 2010, State Police obtained and executed a search warrant authorizing the search of Amato's residence where authorities seized computers from Amato's residence. Subsequent investigation of Amato's computers revealed hundreds of image and video files containing child pornography. Amato was allegedly able to share these files via his computer over a file-sharing network. The search of Amato's residence also yielded an unsecured rifle.

Amato was later arrested and arraigned in Clinton District Court on charges of Possession of Child Pornography and Improper Storage of a Firearm. Amato entered a plea of not guilty and was subsequently released on $500 bail. On July 21, 2011, a Worcester County Grand Jury returned indictments against Amato. He is scheduled to be arraigned on August 11, 2011 in Worcester Superior Court.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Massey of AG Coakley's Cyber Crime Division. It was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office and investigators from the AG's Computer Forensics Lab.