This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Junction City (Kan.) Police Department.
Scott Deppish, 43, from Junction City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of accessing child pornography with intent to view.
On Feb. 12, 2013, investigators executed a search warrant at Deppish's residence. They seized a desktop computer and two loose hard drives, which were later found to contain images depicting prepubescent children engaged in sexual conduct.
In addition to the images found as a result of this search, investigators also found images of a previously identified victim from another case. Law enforcement officials refer to this other case as the "Abby" series; these images were taken in the state of Idaho. They depict a very young prepubescent female engaged in sexual conduct with an adult male.
Sentencing is set for July 7. Deppish faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are 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, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.