DENVER — A federal grand jury Wednesday returned a three-count indictment formalizing the charges against a former local preschool teacher.
The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble.
David Paul Moe, 45, of Denver, is currently in custody pending a bond release hearing. The grand jury charged Moe with distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography.
According to the indictment, count one alleges that between April 28 and July 24, 2012, Moe knowingly distributed and attempted to distribute child pornography. Count two of the indictment alleges that between May 13 and May 15, 2012, he knowingly received and attempted to receive child pornography. Count three of the indictment states that on July 24, 2012, Moe knowingly possessed a computer disk and other material that contained an image of child pornography that had been shipped and transported.
The indictment also includes an asset-forfeiture allegation, which states that if convicted, Moe shall forfeit any and all of his rights, title and interest in the child pornography images. He'll also forfeit the computer storage devices containing child pornography, and any other real or personal property used or intended to be used to commit or promote the commission of the offenses alleged in the indictment.
According to the affidavit with the Criminal Complaint, the preliminary charging document, undercover HSI special agents observed child pornography available for downloading on another computer that was using peer-to-peer software to share files. As the investigation continued, HSI special agents obtained and executed a search warrant July 24, 2012. Moe was the sole occupant of the residence. Preliminary forensic examination has thus far yielded child pornography on Moe's computers, additional external hard drives and on DVDs/CDs that were located at the residence. In conjunction with the execution of a search warrant, it was determined that Moe used the Internet to make available, trade and collect images of child pornography. It was also determined that he was employed as a teacher at Paddington Station for the last 18 years.
"The protection of Colorado's children and families from crime is among the highest priorities of the U.S. Attorney's Office," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "The distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography is a grave crime that deserves our most serious and determined response and prosecution efforts."
"Anyone who produces, possesses or shares child pornography victimizes and traumatizes the most innocent and vulnerable members of our society," said Kumar Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. "Our HSI special agents, operating under our Operation Predator program, specifically seek out predators who sexually exploit children, but especially those who have violated a position of trust in working with children."
If convicted of distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography, Moe faces not less than five years, and not more than 20 years in federal prison, as well as a $250,000 fine. If convicted of receipt and attempted receipt of child pornography, Moe faces not less than five years, and not more than 20 years imprisonment, as well as a $250,000 fine. If convicted of possessing child pornography, Moe faces not more than 10 years imprisonment.
This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Moe is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lillian Alves.
The charges contained in the indictment are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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. 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.