Michael Centanni, Chief Operating Officer of Base Connect, Accused of Possessing Child Porn - NBC4 Washington

Michael Centanni, Chief Operating Officer of Base Connect, Accused of Possessing Child Porn

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    A 48-year-old D.C. man and well-known fundraiser for conservative political candidates is accused of receiving and possessing child pornography. News4's Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Friday, Oct. 31, 2014)

    A 48-year-old D.C. man and well-known fundraiser for conservative political candidates is accused of receiving and possessing child pornography.

    Michael Centanni was arrested Thursday after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security. Court documents say federal officers were led to Centanni through "child porn sharing" files traced to his home computer.

    According to those documents, officers also found a hidden camera inside his D.C. home with a clear view of the shower.

    Centanni works as a Chief Operating Officer with Base Connect, a company that specializes with conservative, direct-mail fundraising, housed just a few blocks from the White House.

    Base Connect has raised millions in campaign funds for conservative political organizations and candidates in U.S. Senate and House races around the country. Records indicate the company  has also co-sponsored the prestigious Conservative Political Action Committee Convention, or CPAC. Photos posted online show Centanni attended and manned a promotional table.

    "We are shocked and dismayed at the recent allegations concerning Michael Centanni ... a minority partner at Base Connect," the firm's CEO Kimberly Bellissimo told News4. "Effective immediately, [he's] suspended from any and all duties involving Base Connect's day-to-day operations."

    According to Bill Miller with the U.S. Attorney's Office, a charge of receipt of child porn carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison. Possession of child porn charges carry a maximum of 10 years but could increase depending on the age of the child involved.

    Centanni is behind bars without bond until his next court appearance, scheduled for Nov. 4.