DENVER - A Colorado Springs, Colo., man was sentenced last week by U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello to serve 97 months (over 8 years) in federal prison for possessing child pornography. U.S. Attorney David Gaouette and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble announced the sentence.
Kyle Gregory Speed, 53, was first charged by indictment on July 23. He pleaded guilty before Judge Arguello on Oct. 26, and was sentenced on Jan. 19. During sentencing, Judge Arguello read excerpts from several victims' letters to emphasize the serious harms to children depicted in the pornography.
Following his prison sentence, Judge Arguello ordered Speed to spend five years on supervised release, and he was ordered to register as a sex offender. Prior to Speed's arrest he worked in the Colorado Springs, Colo., area as a substitute teacher. Speed, who is free on bond, was ordered to surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility within 15 days of its designation.
According to the facts contained in the stipulated plea agreement, New Zealand law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on a local man believed to be transporting and possessing child pornography in violation of New Zealand law. The New Zealand investigation revealed that a national of that country was communicating with the defendant, Kyle Speed, and that the pornography was being transmitted via computer between New Zealand and the defendant's residence.
Based on New Zealand's evidence, ICE agents obtained a search warrant for Speed's residence. On Jan. 16, 2009, ICE agents executed the search warrant, seizing several computers and media storage. The seized items were taken to the ICE forensic computer laboratory for analysis. That review revealed that Speed was in communication with the man under investigation in New Zealand. It further showed pictures of a sexual nature of prepubescent children under the age of 12.
The defendant also possessed one or more images of child pornography that portrayed children forced into sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. In total, from July 1995 through January 2009, the defendant possessed over 600 images of child pornography that he had obtained through the internet.
"This case unfortunately demonstrates how the "disease" of child pornography has infected the international community," said Kibble. "However, ICE and our local, state, federal and international law enforcement partners will do whatever is necessary to protect our children - and bring justice to those who have been victimized." Kibble oversees a four-state area which includes Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
"This very successful investigation and prosecution shows the commitment of law enforcement agencies around the world to protect our children from these internet pornographers," said Gaouette. "The tremendous team work of the New Zealand authorities and our own ICE Special Agents led not only to a person who possessed child pornography but was also to a person who occupied a position of trust as a substitute teacher."
This case was investigated by ICE and the Colorado Springs Police Department, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. 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.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.