Man Sentenced To Year In Jail For Leaving Dogs In Hot Vehicle

BERLIN – A Berlin man, awaiting trial on 30 counts of child pornography possession in Worcester, appeared in court in Wicomico last week to face 19 charges related to animal cruelty in that county for an incident in August and was sentenced to nearly a year in jail.

Kirt Barren Greenberg, 45, left several dogs, one of which perished, in a closed vehicle in 100-degree plus heat at a mall in Salisbury in August. At the time of the incident, Greenberg had recently been arrested in Worcester County on 30 counts of child pornography possession.

Greenberg was found guilty on six counts of inflicting animal cruelty and was sentenced to 90 days in jail for each, netting a total of 540 days in jail. However, the 90-day sentences on three of the charges were then suspended, leaving Greenberg with 360 days to serve. The woman arrested with Greenberg in the animal cruelty case, Shannon Hussain, 36, of Berlin, was also convicted and sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 8, Salisbury Police responded to a call for a report of canines secured in a dangerously hot vehicle. Upon arrival, the officers 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 car windows were up with only one inch of space from the top, according to police reports, and the officers observed the canines were having health issues. The officers gained entry into the vehicle and determined the temperature inside was in excess of 105 degrees. One of the dogs died from exposure to the heat. The remaining dogs were slowly revived.

For Greenberg, the arrest on animal cruelty charges in August came on the heels of his arrest in Worcester County in mid-July on possession and distribution of child pornography charges after a months-long local and federal investigation dating back to September 2009. Last January, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (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 executed a search and seizure warrant on Greenberg’s Berlin home, recovering several computer hard drives that have since been turned over to the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes unit for analysis.

Through the WCBI investigation, it was learned that last September, the FBI began a parallel investigation into Greenberg’s possible possession and distribution of child pornography. The FBI began investigating Greenberg when a special agent had logged into a public website in an undercover capacity and was allegedly invited by Greenberg to join his chat room.

Once inside the chat room, the FBI special agent was able to download over 500 images of child pornography. Through its subsequent investigation, the FBI was able to track the source of the child pornography to an Internet Protocol address allegedly belonging to Greenberg. Based on images forwarded from the FBI on the agency’s own investigation into Greenberg’s alleged actions, he was charged.