WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware man was sentenced Wednesday to six years in federal prison and five years of supervised release for receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography. The sentence resulted from a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Centro Nazionale per il Contrasto alla Pedopornografia Online (CNCPO), which is part of the Italian State Police Postal and Communication Service.
According to court documents, the CNCPO executed a search warrant on a child pornography website server and identified more than 900 United States-based users of the website. The CNCPO provided the identities of these users to HSI. Jason Jay Mills, 36, of Wilmington, was identified as on those users. HSI conducted similar investigations of the identified individuals across the United States.
"Taking child predators off the streets and away from our nation's children is a top priority for HSI," said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "In collaboration with our international partners, HSI successfully removed a dangerous predator from the streets of a Delaware community."
On Nov. 30, 2012, Wilmington-based HSI special agents arrested Mills and searched his residence, which was located just two blocks from Carrcroft Elementary School. They found computers containing more than 40,000 still images and movies depicting graphic and violent child sexual abuse. The images featured mostly infants, toddlers and girls under 8 years old being violently raped and assaulted. In some images, the children appear to be deceased following the violent sexual abuse.
In addition to the violent child pornography featuring young girls, HSI special agents also found various dolls the size of toddlers, some of which had been used as sexual props or mutilated, in Mills' residence. In addition to the computer equipment which Mills used to downloaded thousands of images of violent sexual abuse, was a cache of assault weapons that Mills legally owned, including AR-15, M-4 and AK-47 assault rifles.
"Two weeks before the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn., HSI special agents removed Mills from his residence located two blocks from a local elementary school. Mills, who openly expressed his hatred of children to investigators, was fixated on imagery depicting depraved violence inflicted upon school-aged girls and young women, and he was armed with a cache of some of the most fearsome assault weapons legally available for purchase by private citizens, including the same model rifle used in the Sandy Hook tragedy. We are extremely grateful that the excellent work of our Homeland Security agents and our Italian law enforcement partners led to his arrest before he could harm children in ways beyond his online victimization of those depicted in the horrific images that he spent over a decade collecting," said Oberly.
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 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.
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.