ATLANTA - A 58-year-old man was sentenced here today by Senior U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester to 12 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release and a fine of $50,000 on charges of receipt and possession of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.
According to information presented in court, in October 2007, ICE agents discovered a Colorado man was operating a file-sharing server that, when searched, revealed that Phillip Gerry, of Mableton, Ga., had received images of child pornography from it. In January 2008, ICE agents searched Gerry's home and discovered computer media containing more than 70,000 images and videos of child pornography, some of which depict very young children being sexually abused in very disturbing ways. Agents also discovered pamphlets advocating the sexual abuse of young girls, and stories about young girls being abused. They also found baby doll molds, parts of finished dolls, and a kiln, with which Gerry was making dolls. He claimed that the molds were for him to make tofu babies to serve at dinner parties.
"Today's sentence represents another victory in our fight to protect our most vulnerable segment of society - our children," said Kenneth A. Smith, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Atlanta. "Through ICE's national Operation Predator, ICE agents working alongside our law enforcement partners worldwide are making a significant impact in this important fight."
"This defendant's collection of child pornography was one of the largest and most vile that we have ever seen," said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias. "An especially disturbing component was that the defendant was making baby dolls using a kiln in his basement. He claimed he used the doll molds to bake tofu to eat. His child pornography collection of over 70,000 images, some of very young children being violently assaulted, was amassed over a period of 10 years. This defendant, and others like him, uses the Internet to proliferate images of the violent sexual assault of children. Today, this sick marketplace has one less consumer."
This case was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.