CHATTANOOGA - Roy Walsh, 39, formerly of Jasper, Tenn., now residing in Lenoir City was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to serve 200 months in prison and to pay $3 million in restitution to two victims in a child pornography case investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Criminal Investigative Division.
Walsh will serve an additional 15 years of supervised release upon his release from prison. He had pled guilty to transportation of child pornography in interstate commerce by means of a computer on April 5, 2010.
In February 2008, prosecution of an individual in Connecticut revealed that Walsh, former band director for the South Pittsburg High School Band, had been sending and receiving images of child pornography over the Internet. Chat logs involving Walsh and images sent and received by him were recovered in the investigation.
A search warrant was executed at Walsh's residence in Jasper on Oct. 10, 2008, and two computer hard drives were seized and forensically examined. The seized items were found to contain numerous images of child pornography.
"Each child seen in these pornographic videos is an innocent victim of those who produce, possess, transport and share child pornography. Unfortunately, these images are being viewed over and over again, perpetuating the abuse of these children," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "HSI will continue to diligently work with our law enforcement partners to identify child predators and bring them to justice." Parmer oversees a five-state area which includes Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John MacCoon, Eastern District of Tennessee, represented the United States.