Man Gets 20 Years For Child Porn, Animal Cruelty Sentence Pending
SNOW HILL -- A Berlin man who pleaded guilty last month to five counts of possession of child pornography stemming from an investigation in January 2010 was sentenced this week to combined 20 years in prison.
Kirt Greenberg, 46, of Berlin, pleaded guilty on Nov. 22 to five counts of possession of child pornography following an investigation local, state and federal investigation that began back in September 2009. Back in court on Tuesday, Greenberg was sentenced to four years in jail for each of the five child pornography convictions, representing a combined 20 years jail. He was given credit for 80 days served while awaiting trial and the five four-year sentences will be served consecutively. Greenberg will also be required to register as a Tier I sex offender for 15 years following his release.
The FBI began investigating Greenberg in 2009 when a special agent had logged into a public website in an undercover capacity and was invited by Greenberg to join his chat room. Once inside the chat room, the special agent was able to download over 500 images of child pornography. Greenberg was ultimately charged with 28 counts of possession of child pornography.
However, he was later acquitted on those charges after an investigation by the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) uncovered an expansion of Greenberg’s illicit activity. In January 2010, WCBI detectives began investigating Greenberg for an alleged violation of the Peeping Tom law. During the investigation, it was learned a female juvenile had been residing at Greenberg's residence in Berlin on a temporary basis. Based on conversations the victim had with Greenberg during her time at his residence, she believed the suspect had videotaped her without her consent wearing little or no clothing.
Based on interviews with the victim, WCBI detectives in late February 2010 executed a search and seizure warrant on Greenberg's Berlin home, recovering several computer hard drives that were turned over to the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes unit for analysis.
Through the WCBI investigation, it was learned that in September 2009, the FBI began a parallel investigation into Greenberg's possible possession and distribution of child pornography. It was on the basis of that second batch of child pornography possession that Greenberg was ultimately convicted and sentenced to a combined 20 years in prison this week.
While Greenberg will now be serving a significant jail sentence for the child pornography convictions, he also awaits sentencing on animal cruelty charges stemming from an incident in Berlin in August, which was his second arrest on animal cruelty charges within a year. On Aug. 24, Berlin Police received a tip that Greenberg was in possession of animals in compromised health conditions in direct violation of his probation for an animal cruelty conviction in Salisbury in August 2010.
When officers arrived at Greenberg’s Berlin home on Aug. 24, they found a total of seven animals in extremely hot conditions in his vehicle and residence. The incident was in direct violation of the terms of Greenberg’s probation for an August 2010 incident during which he left six dogs in a vehicle in a mall parking lot in Salisbury in 100-degree-plus heat. Greenberg was found guilty on one count of inflicting animal cruelty in that case and was sentenced to 90 days, all but 30 days of which were suspended. He was also placed on probation for one year and was prohibited from keeping animals.
During the incident in Berlin in August, when officers arrived at Greenberg’s residence, they found two cats in a vehicle in 100-degree-plus heat. A search of the residence revealed five more animals in the attic, also in 100-degree-plus heat.
In the August 2010 incident in Salisbury, local police responded to a call from the parking lot at the Centre at Salisbury for dogs secured in a dangerously hot vehicle. Upon arrival, police met with witnesses who pointed out a vehicle in the parking lot with six dogs inside, which appeared to be in physical duress due to the heat.
The officer gained entry into the vehicle and determined the temperature inside was over 105 degrees. One of the dogs was found to be unresponsive and later died from exposure to the heat. The remaining dogs were given water and air conditioning and slowly revived.