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Child Exploitation
06/12/2009

Granite Falls man sentenced to more than 7 years for child pornography offenses

Defendant secretly photographed neighborhood children

SEATTLE - A Snohomish County, Wash., man who sent more than 8,000 images of child pornography to others was sentenced today in federal court to 87 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for distribution of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Gordon Lee Parkin, 49, of Granite Falls, Wash., came to the attention of ICE agents after he used Google's "Hello" photo sharing program. In July 2007, ICE agents served a search warrant at Parkin's home. A subsequent forensic examination of his computer revealed thousands of illegal images as well as more than 200 pictures of children who lived in the neighborhood. Some of the photos were taken close-up in an attempt to photograph the underwear of young girls.

"Today's prison sentence is a reminder of the serious crime that is committed when the images of innocent children are illegally traded for so-called entertainment," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Seattle. "ICE takes these cases very seriously and will work tirelessly to end the exploitation of children in this manner."

Chat logs on Parkin's computer revealed that he had exchanged 8,645 still images and 11 movies of child pornography. In some instances, he sent more than 750 images at a single time to others via Google "Hello."

Many of the images are of victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. One of those victims has requested restitution from any defendant found to have distributed photos of her victimization. In August, a federal judge will consider the level of restitution in this case.

The charges against Parkin are the result of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE initiative to identify, investigate, and arrest those who prey on children. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators 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/.