SEATTLE – A retired Air Force technical sergeant convicted last September by a federal jury of possession and distribution of child pornography was sentenced Thursday to 18 years in prison.
Michael Allen Dreyer, 59, of Algona, came to the attention of special agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in April 2011, when they observed him sharing images of minors engaged in sexual acts through peer-to-peer software. After tracing Dreyer's Internet protocol address to Algona, NCIS notified the Algona Police Department. The Algona Police Department, together with the Seattle Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), initiated an investigation. Authorities served a search warrant at Dreyer's residence in July 2011, seizing computers and digital media storage devices. HSI forensic examiners found more than 20 videos and in excess of 1,300 images of child pornography.
According to court records, Dreyer has a history of crimes against children. In 2000, he was investigated by special agents with the U.S. Customs Service for possession of child pornography. He received a 27-month prison sentence on those charges. Dreyer also admitted molesting two young relatives in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and he told special agents he used child pornography as a "release" to satisfy his urges to molest children.
At sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman said, "People who create the market for child pornography are as guilty as those who took the photos, posed the children, and engaged in their physical abuse."
Dreyer retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1999 with an honorable discharge after 25 years of service according to documents filed with the court by his defense counsel.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington prosecuted the case.
This probe 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.