Andrew J. McGrath, 31, of Carmel, Ind., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence.
Responding to a report that McGrath may have taken nude photographs of a minor girl, an ICE agent and two members of the HCMICAC Task Force approached McGrath at his residence on Sept. 14, 2009. McGrath consented to a search of his residence and any digital devices and computers found inside. He also consented to an interview.
McGrath initially denied that he produced any images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. However, while the interview was proceeding, images of numerous girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct were discovered on digital storage devices in McGrath's bedroom, including video files in which he appeared and was clearly identifiable. When confronted with these digital files, McGrath admitted he used a digital camera to produce images of four girls under 12 years old engaged in sexually explicit conduct over the last several years. He was arrested at his home that evening and has been in detention since his arrest.
Over the course of the ensuing three weeks, McGrath's computers and a large amount of digital storage devices were forensically examined. The forensic exam uncovered that he had produced sexually explicit images of the four girls on at least two dozen separate occasions. The 24 counts of sexual exploitation of children to which McGrath pleaded guilty represented each and every instance discovered of his child pornography production. The computer forensic exam also uncovered a large collection of child pornography collected by McGrath from the Internet.
"This case clearly demonstrates why it is so important to aggressively target predators abusing children in our communities," said John Morton, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE. "We will continue to do everything in our power to shield children from such heinous exploitation and bring these predators to justice."
Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook, Southern District of Indiana, prosecuted this case.
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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
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.