From Wired.com Threat Level:
Accused Hacker Who Balked at 2-Year Prison Deal Now Faces Decades
By David Kravets June 24, 2010 | 4:42 pm | Categories: Hacks and Cracks, porn
An alleged hacker who declined a 2-year plea deal is facing decades behind bars after federal authorities Thursday added multiple charges, including possession and distribution of child pornography.
Barry Ardolf, 45, of Blaine, Minnesota, had rejected a plea deal in connection to charges accusing him of sending Vice President Joe Biden a threatening e-mail from his neighbor’s computer, a computer he is accused of hacking. The decision to reject the offer, his lawyer said Monday, “was a difficult one.”
A federal grand jury substantially upped the ante against the computer technician Thursday, ringing him up on additional charges (.pdf) of identity theft and two kiddie-porn accusations carrying lifetime sex-offender registration requirements. The authorities said he faces a maximum 20 years for the alleged porn distribution, 10 years for the porn-possession charge and five years each for the two hacking charges.
Ardolf maintains his innocence, and federal judges are not bound by sentencing guidelines.