October 23rd, 2007 11:34 EST
Louisville man arrested by ICE agents on child pornography charges
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents arrested a local resident here Thursday for illegally receiving and possessing images of child pornography. This arrest resulted from an ICE criminal investigation.
Danny Lee Phillips, 42, of 5315 Oakcreek Lane, was arrested Oct. 18 on charges filed in the Western District of Kentucky for receiving and possessing child pornography.
ICE agents executed a federal search warrant Oct. 17 at Phillips' Louisville residence and discovered three CDs containing images depicting child pornography, including nude girls between 5 and 12 years old performing sexual acts on adult males. Numerous girls' panties and various sexual lubricants were also discovered with the CDs.
According to court documents, Phillips consented to an interview and stated he owned two computers, one personal laptop that he used to e-mail and surf the Internet, and another that no longer worked and was stored in a box in the basement laundry room. He further stated to ICE agents that he is the primary user of the computers and that he frequently uses the laptop computer for email and online purchases. Phillips admitted that he had purchased access to websites containing young girls.
When first questioned, Phillips said that he had purchased pictures of young girls over the Internet but had not purchased child pornography. ICE agents then showed Phillips screen captures of two child pornography websites. Previous investigation, including billing records, showed that Phillips had purchased access to a child pornography website on Dec. 25, 2006. Phillips recalled seeing the websites and admitted that he could have purchased access to one of the websites.
Phillips later said that ICE agents would find child pornography in his "My Pictures" computer folder. He said that he never created his own child pornographic images. He claimed that he acquired all his child pornography by paying for access to websites or by trading with others using "Yahoo Messenger." He specifically sought images of girls between 12 and 15 years old displaying their genitals. Phillips also informed ICE agents that there were several CDs containing child pornographic pictures in his bedroom closet. A search of Phillips' bedroom closet revealed numerous recordable CDs, and about two-dozen girls' panties and various sexual lubricants next to the CDs.
Before leaving the residence, ICE previewed three CDs located in Phillips' bedroom closet and encountered images depicting child pornography on each CD. Phillips stated that these were the CDs he had previously mentioned to the ICE agents. He said that he had copied the pictures from images he had downloaded from the Internet pay sites.
"ICE will not tolerate child sexual exploitation," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent-in-charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "We will use all of our resources to identify child predators who use the Internet to sexually exploit innocent children. We will not rest until we bring them to justice."
U.S. Attorney David L. Huber, Western District of Kentucky, praised ICE in effectively responding to these very serious offenses.
In the event of his conviction, Phillips faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a $500,000 fine, and supervised release for a period of up to life; his minimum potential penalty is five years imprisonment and five years supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Madison T. Sewell, Western District of Kentucky, is prosecuting this case.
The investigation into Phillips is part of Operation Predator, a national ICE initiative that protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists, and other predatory criminals. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 10,100 child predators and sex offenders nationwide.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. Investigators staff this hotline around the clock.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
A criminal complaint is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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