By ROBIN FITZGERALD
GULFPORT - A former border patrol agent has been sentenced to a prison term of 6- 1/2 years for having child pornography on his government-issued computer.
Nicholas Bolden, 40, of Ocean Springs, also was sentenced for having CDs with sexually explicit pictures of children at the Border Patrol office in Gulfport.
U.S. District Judge Walter J. Gex III sentenced him Wednesday and ordered a $7,000 fine.
Court papers show Bolden accessed a Russian website with child porn at his workstation on March 1, 2012. Two months later, a CD with sexually explicit pictures of minors was found at his desk.
The Department of Homeland Security found additional items that were seized in the investigation. Bolden has agreed to forfeit a smartphone, laptop computer, mini memory card, thumb drives and several CDs.
Bolden pleaded guilty April 30 to charges filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office. He waived indictment and was taken into custody.
"There is no place among the dedicated professionals of DHS for anyone who so brazenly defies federal law," James E. Ward said in a news release. Ward is special agent in charge of the DHS Office of Inspector General field office in Atlanta.
U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis said Bolden "contributed to the abuse and sexual exploitation of innocent children while working as a trusted federal employee."
Davis said the sentencing represents ongoing efforts "to protect children and hold accountable those who exploit or endanger them."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenda R. Haynes prosecuted the case.
Bolden was convicted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Justice Department initiative to use law enforcement partnerships to apprehend and prosecute those who exploit children on the Internet, and to identify and rescue the victims.