PORTLAND – A South Carolina man accused of photographed himself sexually exploiting two young girls and sharing the pictures over the Internet with another man in Maine pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to two counts of production of child pornography.

Daniel Cobb, 37, of Rock Hill, S.C., was arrested at his home on Nov. 14, 2012, after investigators tracked him down through an email address he used for correspondence related to child pornography, according to court records.

Federal authorities accused Cobb of sending explicit images of his friend’s daughters, who were 6 and 8 years old, to David Muise Jr., 26, of 141 Cumberland Ave. in Portland.

Muise was also charged in the case and pleased guilty in January to a charge of sexually exploiting a minor to make child pornography. He was sentenced earlier this month to serve 25 years in federal prison followed by 20 years of supervised release.

The investigation of Muise and Cobb began in late September 2012. Portland police were contacted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who had been told by Muise’s girlfriend in Vancouver that he had sent her explicit nude pictures of himself with a 5-year-old girl, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed in Muise’s case.

Muise’s girlfriend told Canadian police that she recognized the girl in the photo.

Portland police searched Muise’s apartment on Cumberland Avenue on Sept. 28, 2012. They seized a cellphone containing 63 digital images, created between June 10 and Sept. 8, 2012, containing child pornography that apparently was produced by Muise, the FBI affidavit says.

Authorities began investigating Cobb after finding 109 digital pictures on a computer hard drive that was seized during the search of Muise’s apartment. The pornographic images show two prepubescent girls, and many also show a man’s body, according to a separate affidavit in Cobb’s file, by an agent with Homeland Security Investigations.

Authorities in South Carolina arrested Cobb after allegedly linking the images on Muise’s computer to Cobb’s email address and conducting surveillance at Cobb’s home, the second affidavit says.

In an interview with investigators after his arrest, Cobb admitted he had engaged in sexually explicit activity with the victims and that he had taken digital photographs and video footage of the activity. He described his sexual acts with the victims as “play time,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Cobb faces a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

 

Staff Writer Scott Dolan can be contacted at: 791-6304 or at

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