BALTIMORE — A Maryland man was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in federal prison for distribution of child pornography. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the FBI and the Baltimore County Police Department.
Kevin Francis Kelley, 45, of Halethorpe, was also ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release following his prison sentence and register as a sex offender. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,000.
According to his plea agreement, Kelley was sharing child pornography using a file sharing program he downloaded from the Internet. On Oct. 13, 2013, an undercover Baltimore County Police detective downloaded a video file Kelley was sharing that depicted a prepubescent child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The investigation revealed that Kelley was using a neighbor's IP address, which he was able to access because he had helped them set up the password for their wireless router. Kelley admitted that he used his neighbor's wireless connection to avoid detection by law enforcement. Kelley also admitted that he had been collecting child pornography for over 10 years and possessed "thousands" of child pornography images and videos that were saved on his computers and hard drives. Kelley advised law enforcement that he categorized his child pornography in various ways to include by sex act, age of child and name of child.
"The despicable images child predators are downloading and sharing with others perpetuates a lifetime of misery and grief for the young victims," said William Winter, special agent in charge of HSI Baltimore. "HSI is committed to working with the law enforcement community, united in our resolve to bring these child predators to justice."
A preliminary forensic analysis of just one computer and hard drive of Kelley's three computers and four external hard drives contained over 63,000 image files and 950 video files of child pornography, including prepubescent minors and images depicting sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
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.