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Child Exploitation

Maryland man sentenced to more than 6 years for distributing and possessing child pornography

GREENBELT, Md. — A Hyattsville, Md., man was sentenced Monday to 77 months in federal prison followed by supervised release for life for distributing and possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore and the Maryland State Police.

Daniel Cardwell, 28, of Hyattsville, Md., was sentenced April 23 by U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr., who ordered that upon his release from prison, Cardwell must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

According to the plea agreement, from Oct. 4, 2010 to May 4, 2011, Cardwell used a file share program to distribute 1,298 files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On May 10, 2011, after identifying Cardwell as the individual distributing the images, the Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at Cardwell's home and seized computers and hard drives containing 57 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas.