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Child Exploitation
04/13/2011

Virginia man sentenced to 85 months in prison on child porn charge

ROANOKE, Va. - A Vinton, Va. man, who pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography via a peer-to-peer software sharing website, was sentenced in federal court to 85 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

George Andrew Burkey, 34, previously waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty with receiving and distributing child pornography. 

 "This case demonstrates the resolve of Homeland Security Investigations to bring to justice those who possess images of innocent children being sexually exploited and traumatized," said John P. Torres, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Washington, D.C. "Working with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners, we will continue to utilize our resources to protect our nation's most vulnerable asset, our children."

"The exchange of child pornography via peer-to-peer web networks is a persistent problem in our district and around the country," said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Timothy J. Heaphy. "The predators who lurk in these networks should be aware that they are being watched. As this case shows, law enforcement has infiltrated the seedy world of peer-to-peer exchanges of child pornography. We will continue to do all we can to investigate and prosecute individuals who transfer this filth and protect the victims of this disgusting business."

Officers with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force became aware that a computer with an IP address in Vinton was offering to share computer files containing images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit behavior. A search warrant was executed at the defendant's home and a computer was seized from his bedroom. The defendant admitted to owning and using the computer.

A forensic examination of the computer revealed hundreds of images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit behavior. It was determined that the defendant downloaded many of these images and videos from the peer-to-peer software sharing website, Limewire. On August 27, 2010, Burkey pleaded guilty and admitted to downloading and sharing the files with others on the internet.

The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI in Harrisonburg, Va., the Vinton Police Department and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The case was prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

This case is part of Operation Predator, an ICE-led 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. Individuals with information about suspected child predators are encouraged to call 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.