SEATTLE - A convicted sex offender from Washington was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Clyde Dale Loshbaugh, 57, of Seattle, pleaded guilty in April 2010, admitting he had nearly 2,000 images of child pornography on his laptop computer. He came to the attention of law enforcement authorities after he took his laptop to a computer repair shop claiming it was infected with malicious software.
When a technician began working on the laptop, he unwittingly discovered images of nude, young girls. The owner of the repair shop notified the Seattle Police Department (SPD), which confiscated the laptop.
SPD and ICE HSI agents conducted a forensic review of the laptop and an additional computer that belonged to Loshbaugh. Illegal images of young children were discovered on both computers.
"This prison sentence should put all types of child predators on notice that serious consequences await those who perpetrate crimes against children," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE HSI Office in Seattle. "As a convicted criminal, the defendant's recurrent sexual exploitation of children underscores his blatant disregard for the very laws that are on the books to protect young people and preserve their dignity. HSI's investigators will continue to aggressively investigate, identify and pursue this type of criminal to ensure that justice is served."
ICE HSI agents arrested Loshbaugh on Feb.11, 2010. He has previous convictions for child sex abuse dating back to 1983 when he was sentenced to six years in prison in Sonoma County, Calif., for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. In 1994 in Spokane, Wash., he was convicted of second degree child molestation and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood (PSC), which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of 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 www.cybertipline.com.
Through PSC, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.