BUFFALO, N.Y. — A former supervisor with U.S. Customs and Border Protection in New York was sentenced to five years in federal prison Wednesday following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General and the Hamburg Police Department.
Steven Metz, 42, of Hamburg, was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release following his imprisonment by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William M. Skretny. The judge ordered that the defendant be remanded immediately.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie P. Grisanti, who handled the case, stated on Oct. 25, 2012, the defendant, a supervisor with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was found in possession of approximately 3,000 images and 70 videos of child pornography on his computer at his residence in Hamburg. Some of these files contained depictions of violence, and some of the children shown in the images and videos were prepubescent children as young as three years old. As a result of this conviction, the defendant will no longer be employed by the federal agency.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair 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.