Sex offender found with 15,000 child-porn images gets 40 years in federal prison

Gossage FDLE

A Keys registered sex offender caught with more than 15,000 images of child pornography last year will serve 40 years in federal prison and pay restitution of $100,000.

Bruce Gossage of Big Coppitt Key was originally sentenced by Judge Jose Martinez in November 2018 at U.S. District Court in Key West. But Martinez amended the sentence Jan. 23 to include the restitution agreement.

Martinez gave him 20 years for child pornography distribution and another 20 for possession, to be served consecutively. He added another 20 years to be served concurrently.

Gossage, 60, will also be under court supervision for the rest of his life.

On his desktop computer in early 2018, Gossage had stored about 747 images, 94 GIFS and 40 videos depicting child pornography, including 15 images he sent to law enforcement on Jan. 4, 2018. But investigators found an even larger collection throughout his home.

On electronic storage devices found in his bedroom and vehicle, Gossage had more than 15,000 images and 100 videos of child porn.

One video involved a child and a dog and some depicted the sexual abuse of infants and toddlers.

“The child pornography that the defendant distributed and possessed included images and videos depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, images and videos depicting sadistic or masochistic conduct and other depictions of violence, and images and videos depicting sexual abuse or exploitation of infants and toddlers,” prosecutors wrote in paperwork detailing Gossage’s collection.

Gossage agreed to plead guilty to the charges: one count of distribution of child pornography and two counts of possession.

He was already a registered sex offender with a 2002 conviction for “lewd and lascivious exhibition” to a minor and voyeurism. The victim was between age 12 and 16.

According to Broward County court records, Gossage pleaded no contest to the charges in November 2002. He was sentenced to four years of probation.

Gossage’s attorney, Lawrence E. Besser, of Miami and federal prosecutors didn’t immediately reply to messages left Tuesday.

Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations monitored peer-to-peer file sharing program BitTorrent in early January 2018 trying to identify people sharing child pornography, according to the criminal complaint.

A Comcast IP address registered to Bruce Gossage’s home on Luna Lane was shown to be sharing and downloading pornographic images and videos of children.

Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.