Jul 28, 2014

East Hartford Police Officer Faces Child Pornography Charges

Andrew Nielsen, 58, is a South Windsor resident and an East Hartford police officer.

East Hartford Police Officer Faces Child Pornography Charges

A South Windsor resident, who is also an officer with the East Hartford police department, is facing a federal charge for receiving child pornography.

Andrew Nielsen, 48, of 58 Pleasant Valley Road, was arrested and charged today by federal criminal complaint with receipt of child pornography, according to a press release from David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the district of Connecticut, and Kevin Niland, inspector in charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division.

The criminal complaint, according to the press release, alleges that between November 2010 and April 2011, Nielsen "purchased multiple DVDs containing child pornography from a foreign company and had them shipped to his residence." 

During a search of Nielsen's residence today, federal investigators found DVDs containing images and videos of child pornography, according to the release. Nielsen was arrested this morning.

South Windsor police were on scene, but were not involved with the investigation, according to police spokesman Sgt. Scott Custer.

"[The federal officers] were there all day, we were just there to be on site for assistance," said Custer, adding that about 10 to 12 federal agents were at the Pleasant Valley residence.

Nielsen appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford; he was released on bond under electronic monitoring, the press release states.

If convicted of the charge of receipt of child pornography, Nielsen faces a prison term between five and 20 years, as well as a fine of up to $250,000, according to the press release. 

U.S. Attorney Fein said in the release that "a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Nielsen is a support member of the South Windsor volunteer fire department, according to Fire Chief Kevin Cooney, who added that the department had just gotten word of the charge today and was looking into the situation. He declined further comment.

Nielsen received his 30-year pin from the fire department over the summer.

Efforts to reach the East Hartford police department were unsuccessful.

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