David Lee McDermid, 33, pleaded guilty to federal charges of possession of child pornography in November 2010. He moved to Boise, Idaho, from Canada in November 2000 and lived there for about five years before moving back to Canada.
When McDermid returned to Canada, he made arrangements for a commercial mover to transport his personal belongings to Ottawa, Ontario, where he was living. Prior to his items being shipped, McDermid contacted a friend in Boise and asked if he would delete some pornography files from his computers' hard drives.
The friend attempted to delete files from folders that were suspiciously named or that he thought contained pornography. He also purged the Recycle Bin and defragged the computers.
When McDermid's belongings arrived in Ottawa, officers with the Canadian Border Security Agency (CBSA) conducted a border search of the items. The search resulted in the discovery of images of child pornography on McDermid's computers.
The CBSA seized the computers and McDermid was told that images of child pornography had been discovered on his computers. McDermid replied that he thought those had been deleted.
Detectives with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) conducted a forensic analysis of the computers. Later, they interview McDermid and asked him about the origin of the child pornography. He responded that he had downloaded the images from the Internet.
At that time, the amount of child pornography found on McDermid's computers was the largest amount ever seized by OPS. Canadian authorities subsequently turned over McDermid's computers to ICE HSI forensic analysts for further examination.
McDermid faced criminal charges in Canada for importing and possessing child pornography. He was acquitted in November 2008. However, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho filed federal criminal charges.
"Possessing illicit images of innocent children is a serious crime," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge for ICE HSI in the Pacific Northwest. "HSI will vigorously investigate child exploitation cases like this one to protect our children and bring these predators to justice."
"Those who possess and distribute child pornography aid and abet the continuing abuse of children, who are the most vulnerable of victims," said Wendy Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho. "We will continue to investigate and prosecute these offenders, and hopefully deter these terrible crimes against children."
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.
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.