DETROIT – A Detroit man was sentenced Friday to 262 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography. The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to the investigation, Lawrence Flack, 54, who had previously been convicted of sexual battery against a minor, used a peer-to-peer file sharing program to locate and download images and videos of minors being forced to engage in sexually explicit activities with adults.
A computer forensics analysis of computer equipment belonging to Flack identified more than 7,500 images and videos, some portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct.
"This case is not just about bad pictures," said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade. "Real children suffer so that defendants like this one can look at child pornography. The children are physically abused and then virtually abused again and again forever."
"This significant sentence against a convicted child predator should serve as a stark warning for those who target and prey on children," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit. "The aggressive investigation and prosecution of child predators remains among HSI's highest priorities."
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.