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Child Exploitation

Former Los Angeles man sentenced to 35 years on child pornography charges

LOS ANGELES - A registered sex offender, formerly from the Los Angeles area who now resides in Washington state, has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison following his conviction on child pornography charges stemming from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Gregory Macdonald Berry, 44, of Ocean Shores, Wash., who formerly lived in Chatsworth, Calif., was sentenced Monday morning to 420 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $227,000 in restitution to his victims by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer. In addition, Berry will be subject to lifetime supervision following his release from prison. In imposing the lengthy sentence, the court noted the defendant had repeatedly engaged in crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. That, together with his refusal to accept responsibility for his actions made it likely he would again victimize children upon his release, Judge Fischer said.

Berry was convicted by a jury on August 31 of one count of possession of child pornography and one count of transportation of child pornography. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.

In August 2009, shortly after his release from prison for a prior child sex crime, Berry was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) upon his return from a two-month trip to the Philippines. Berry was taken into custody after officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at LAX discovered child pornography on his laptop computer. A subsequent forensic analysis of Berry's laptop and iPod by HSI agents resulted in the recovery of more than 470 videos depicting children, some as young as 2, engaged in sexual acts with adult men.

"This sentencing should serve as a stern reminder about the consequences facing those who prey upon and sexually exploit children," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Los Angeles. "Every time a sexually explicit image of a minor is produced, transmitted, or viewed, a child is victimized."

HSI's involvement in this investigation is part of the agency's initiative known as Operation Predator, an ongoing enforcement effort targeting those who prey upon and sexually exploit our nation's children - including Internet pornographers, international sex tourists, and foreign national sexual predators.

ICE encourages the reporting of 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 ICE partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.