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Child Exploitation
12/14/2012

Child rapist sentenced to 10 years for possessing child pornography

SPOKANE, Wash. – A Spokane man previously convicted in 1990 of first degree child rape was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Michael Ferguson, 42, was indicted by a federal grand jury in May and pleaded guilty in September. According to court documents, Ferguson admitted he was in possession of 10 images and two videos of child sexual exploitation when HSI special agents executed a search warrant at his residence. Investigators initiated their probe after they learned Ferguson was sharing child pornography with others over the Internet. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington.

At sentencing, Ferguson was also ordered to serve lifetime supervised release when he completes his prison term. He has been in custody since his indictment.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.