A registered sex offender, who pleaded guilty in a later case involving the transmission of child pornography, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday in federal court in Central Islip, according to officials.
Michael Bonnet, of East Hampton, who also uses the name Bob Jones, was convicted in 2008 in Suffolk County of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl, officials said.
In November 2013, Bonnet, who was on probation in the Suffolk case, was arrested by FBI agents on charges of sending pornographic images of young girls over the internet to a person he thought was interested in exchanging child pornography, according to Eastern District Assistant U.S. Attorney Allan Bode.
The other person was actually an undercover FBI agent, searching the internet for people trafficking in child pornography, Bode said in court papers.
At one point Bonnet emailed the agent, saying: “Just hoping you’re not a cop or anything don’t need trouble could you maybe send one so I know you’re not?” according to Bode.
The agent then sent Bonnet “a corrupted video file” that could not be opened, but falsely appeared to contain child pornography. In return, Bonnet sent the undercover agent files containing actual child pornography, Bode said.
Because of Bonnet’s previous sex-offense conviction, the 15-year sentence was the minimum sentence U.S. District Judge Arthur Spatt could impose.
Bonnet’s attorney, federal public defender Randi Chavis declined to comment, as did prosecutor Bode.