Frank Wolaver, 51, came to the attention of ICE investigators after he purchased access to a commercial child pornography website. When ICE agents conducted a forensic analysis of his computer, they discovered more than 600 sexually explicit images of minors.
On Nov. 9, 2009, Wolaver admitted in court that he had purchased online access to the illegal Web sites and pleaded guilty to possession of sexually explicit images of minors. He was released from custody pending his sentencing on these charges.
Four days later, an officer with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services visited Wolaver's home. The officer discovered a laptop computer with Internet access, which was a violation of Wolaver's conditions for release.
The probation officer notified ICE and investigators sought and executed a federal search warrant on Nov. 20, 2009, to review the contents of the laptop computer. The search resulted in the discovery of more than 10,000 sexually explicit images of minors and more than 100 illegal videos of child pornography.
Based on this discovery, a federal arrest warrant was obtained for Wolaver. ICE agents located him in downtown Twin Falls and took him into custody where he was held until his sentencing.
This new violation, committed while on release for the first violation, resulted in an additional federal charge of possession of child pornography. Wolaver pleaded guilty to this charge today, prior to being sentenced.
"Today's sentence serves as a reminder that there are consequences for collecting and viewing illegal images of innocent children being sexually exploited," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations that oversees Idaho.
Investigating this type of criminal activity is a priority for ICE and we will continue to dedicate our resources to identify and bring to justice sexual predators who victimize children in this same manner." "I am grateful that law enforcement has made it a priority to investigate those who sexually exploit children," said U.S. Attorney Tom Moss. "Prison is especially appropriate for those who continue to re-offend."
This case was the result of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals under Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.
ICE was joined in this investigation by U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services.