PORTLAND, Ore. - A former local human resources manager for a federal agency was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of soliciting a minor for sex through the Internet. This case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Kyle Donnell Worley, 52, of Vancouver, Wash., who was a former manager with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by a five-year term of supervised release. He will be subject to a number of conditions of supervision, including limitations on his association with minors, use of computers and registering as a sex offender.
Worley came to the attention of HSI agents after using his government computer to solicit teenage girls online. Posing as a 17-year-old boy, Worley approached teenage girls online through a social networking site frequented by teens and adolescents. One of those girls was a 14-year-old from Portland.
Worley chatted online with the girl and invited her to engage in various sex acts with him. The girl's father called the police after discovering the sexually explicit online chats.
Investigators tracked some of the chats back to a BLM computer that had been issued to Worley. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) was notified and an investigation into Worley began.
Shortly afterwards, an HSI agent assumed the girl's online identity and continued chatting with Worley. The defendant expressed an interest in meeting the girl for sex and sent her obscene images of him.
When Worley made arrangements to meet the girl for sex in December 2009, HSI agents arrested him at the meeting place in northeast Portland. Shortly after that, he resigned his position at BLM and has remained in federal custody.
Subsequent forensic examinations of Worley's government and personal computers revealed that he had solicited hundreds of teenage girls online. At the sentencing hearing, Worley apologized to the victim, his colleagues, and his family for his behavior saying, "I had the world in the palm of my hand, and I threw it away."
"This case illustrates that no one is above the law, and severe penalties await those who sexually exploit innocent children," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of HSI in the Pacific Northwest. "Investigating this type of case remains a high priority for the men and women of HSI, and we will continue to seek out and bring to justice those who commit these crimes."
U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton praised the girl's father for his diligence in protecting her from an online predator. He also praised the swift and cooperative efforts of law enforcement agents saying, "The nature and scope of Mr. Worley's conduct is both frightening and disturbing, especially given the position of public trust he held. Worley's use of government computer equipment to solicit teenagers online was particularly egregious, and amounted to a breathtaking abuse of public trust."
HSI was joined in this investigation by DOI OIG and the Portland Police Bureau. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Sussman.
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.
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.