(STL.News) – A federal grand jury in Providence today returned indictments charging two Rhode Island men in separate Project Safe Childhood child sex exploitation investigations, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
The grand jury returned an indictment charging James Diggins, 47, of Warwick, with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. According to court documents, it is alleged that an undercover FBI Task Force Officer entered multiple online public groups which appeared to have been created for individuals interested in child sexual abuse material. It is alleged that Diggins was a member of one of those groups when multiple videos and images containing child sexual exploitation materials were shared, at one point commenting on the recycling of videos he shared with the group.
It is alleged that during a private online chat with the undercover law enforcement officer, Diggins sent the officer videos depicting child exploitation and a live photo of himself.
Diggins was arrested on May 30, 2020, by members of FBI Boston Division’s Human Trafficking Child Exploitation Task Force and released on unsecured bond to home incarceration and electronic monitoring following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence.
The grand jury also returned an indictment charging Neil Streich, 57, of North Kingstown with transferring obscene material to a minor. It is alleged in court documents that for approximately three months Streich communicated online with an individual he believed to be a 10-year-old girl. During those communications he requested that the girl provide him with images to show that she was, in fact, a 10-year-old girl as she described to him. Three days after receiving a non-sexually explicit image from the purported 10-year-old, it is alleged that Streich began transmitting obscene images of himself to the girl. The person Streich allegedly communicated with was, in fact, an undercover FBI Special Agent.
Streich was arrested on June 17, 2020, by members of the Providence FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was released the following day on unsecured bond following an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence.
Arraignment dates on the indictments have not yet been scheduled by the court. A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Theses Project Safe Childhood cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John P. McAdams.
Project Safe Childhood was launched to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Through a network of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and advocacy organizations, Project Safe Childhood attempts to protect children by investigating and prosecuting offenders involved in child sexual exploitation.