A Portland man who alternately tried to blame hackers and his girlfriend’s son after federal agents say they caught him in April downloading child pornography was arrested Thursday on a federal warrant for two charges.

William Alfred Roscoe, 29, of 5 Montgomery St., was brought to U.S. District Court in Portland to appear before Magistrate Judge John Rich III on federal charges of attempted receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Rich ordered Roscoe held in federal custody while the case is pending.

Federal agents began investigating in March after discovering someone was downloading child pornography in the multi-unit apartment building at the intersection of Montgomery and Congress streets in Portland. But their initial investigation led them to execute search warrants at the incorrect apartments on March 13 and April 17, according to an affidavit filed with the court by Agent David Fife of the Department of Homeland Security seeking a warrant for Roscoe’s arrest.

While investigators were in the building on April 17, they knocked on doors to interview tenants, leading them to contact Roscoe’s girlfriend at her place of work. She came to the apartment to let investigators in, they spoke with her and Roscoe, and she gave them permission to inspect a laptop computer that contained “large quantities of child pornography,” Fife wrote in the affidavit.

“During our brief interaction, Mr. Roscoe repeatedly speculated that someone had either hacked into the computer to view child pornography there, had broken into the apartment and accessed the computer using a set of keys (his girlfriend) had recently lost, or that (his girlfriend’s) 13-year-old son had been looking at such things using the laptop,” Fife wrote.

Authorities obtained a search warrant on April 21 to examine the laptop, allowing Portland police Detective Eli Chase days later to find 11 child pornography files that had been partially downloaded at the time the computer was seized, the affidavit says.

Roscoe faces from five to 20 years in prison if convicted of attempted receipt of child pornography and up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possession of child pornography.

Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at:

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Twitter: @scottddolan