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Child Exploitation

TSA employee sentenced to prison for possessing child pornography

BALTIMORE – Michael Scott Wilson, 42, of Perry Hall, Md., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake to two years in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for possessing child pornography.

The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Baltimore County Police Department.

Judge Blake ordered that upon his release from prison, Wilson 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.

According to the plea agreement, Wilson is an employee of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Baltimore Washington International Airport. On Sept. 12, 2011, a Baltimore County Police detective connected to a file sharing network and downloaded a file containing child pornography from Wilson, who was sharing files over the network. On Sept. 27, 2011, members of the Baltimore County Police Department, Crimes Against Children Unit executed a search warrant at Wilson's residence and seized computers and digital media, as well as CDs from a locked safe. A forensic examination of the computers and media revealed approximately 260 images of child pornography, including videos of prepubescent females engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults. Several of the images documented the sexual abuse of minor females by adult males.

At the time of Wilson's arrest, he was suspended without pay by TSA and has not worked for the agency since that time.

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 and information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.

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 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 (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel M. Yasser.