The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C.
Faisal Hashime, 20, was convicted of three counts of production of child pornography, which each carry a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison, and two counts of distribution of child pornography, which each carry a sentence of five to 20 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty Sept. 12 to possessing and receiving child pornography.
Hashime is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 7.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the investigation of Hashime began after he distributed images of child pornography to an undercover special agent via e-mail. After executing a search warrant on Hashime's e-mail account, HSI special agents recovered numerous e-mails where he pretended to be an attractive young female named "Tracy" while communicating on the Internet with minor boys throughout the country.
While acting as "Tracy," Hashime flirted, developed intimate friendships, engaged in explicit online conversation, and – often over the course of months – requested, cajoled, seduced, guilted and encouraged them to take and send pictures of their naked bodies and genitalia. After obtaining several images of boys' genitalia, Hashime then distributed several of the images to others online.
When HSI executed a search warrant on Hashime's residence, he admitted to being "Tracy" online.
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) or its online resource for reporting child sexual exploitation, http://www.cybertipline.com.