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Child Exploitation

Georgia man sentenced for production and possession of child pornography

ATLANTA — A Georgia man was sentenced today in federal court for the production and possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Daryl Demkey, 28, of Roswell, Ga., was sentenced to 23 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. He is also required to register as a sex offender upon his release from custody. Demkey pled guilty to the charges on Sept. 1, 2010.

"Protecting our children from individuals like this, who prey upon and sexually exploit children is a top priority for ICE," said Brock Nicholson, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Atlanta. "Sexual predators should know that ICE will do everything in its power and use every tool at its disposal to keep our children safe — whether the potential victims are around the block or around the world."

During an international investigation into a global organization of pedophiles known as the "Boy Lovers Network" (BLN), agents from ICE HSI determined that several individuals were BLN members and collectors and distributors of child pornography, including Joseph Gittings and Dale Hodges. During the course of its investigation of Gittings and Hodges, ICE HSI agents determined that Demkey, also at one time a BLN member, had a sexual interest in children and was a likely collector of child sexual abuse images.

In November 2009, following the execution of search warrants and the arrests of Gittings and Hodges, ICE agents encountered Demkey and determined that he had recently molested a 9-year old boy and recorded the abuse on his camera in still images and video. Agents subsequently found those images and videos on Demkey's computer. He also possessed additional images showing the sexual abuse of children on his computer, most of which he received directly from Hodges.

"There are few more heinous crimes than the sexual abuse of a young child," said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, Northern District of Georgia. "Because of the proactive efforts by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, we were able to put a stop to the abuse perpetrated by Demkey before it continued any further. The lengthy sentence, term of supervised release and lifelong requirement that Demkey register as a sex offender will ensure that he can no longer gain access to and abuse children."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Steinberg.

The investigation that led to this case 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 1-866-347-2423. 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.