DENVER — A man from Athens, Greece, was sentenced this week to serve 10 years in federal prison for traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Wiley Y. Daniel also ordered Georgios Sgouros, 43, to serve 10 years supervised release, although the defendant is a citizen and national of Greece; therefore, he faces deportation immediately after he completes his prison sentence.
Sgouros was charged by criminal complaint June 16, 2010. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver July 12, 2010. He pleaded guilty to the travel with intent to engage in sexual conduct charge Dec. 1, 2011. He was sentenced March 13, 2012.
According to court documents, on Jan. 28, 2010, an HSI special agent in an undercover capacity posed as a single mother with two girls, ages 5 and 7. While in an undercover capacity, the special agent engaged in an Internet chat with Sgouros who expressed interest in traveling to Colorado to have sex with the two children. During the chat, Sgouros and the undercover special agent also discussed the logistics of where he would stay during his visit, and how they would meet at the airport. During the next several months, Sgouros and the undercover special agent exchanged emails and private chats regarding Sgouros' intention to engage in sexual activity with the children. On June 13 and 14, 2010, Sgouros emailed the undercover special agent his travel itinerary from Athens to Denver. On June 15, 2010, Sgouros was admitted into the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Philadelphia International Airport. He arrived in the U.S. aboard a flight from Amsterdam. He then flew from Philadelphia to Denver, where he was met by HSI special agents and taken into custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith Smith, District of Colorado, prosecuted this case.
Other recent Colorado HSI "Operation Predator" sentencings:
- Daniel Petura of Arapahoe County, Colo., was recently sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer to serve 78 months in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography. The defendant bought a subscription to a website that provided child pornography, and he accessed the website about 4,000 times. Petura was found with more than 1,500 images of child pornography, some depicting infants, and some which he had obtained from the subscription website. This case was investigated by HSI.
- Stephen Mark Erway of Denver, Colo., was recently sentenced to 10 years in federal prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock for violating the terms of his probation for possessing child pornography. Erway was convicted in 1988 with crimes related to sexually exploiting minors, including child pornography. He served a prison sentence, and was released on probation. While on probation, he violated the terms of his probation by improperly using computers and by engaging in online relationships with minors. This case was investigated by HSI.
"Prosecuting those engaged in the sexual exploitation of our children, whether they possess child pornography or whether they travel to our state with the intent of engaging in illicit sexual conduct, is one of this office's highest priorities," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "Thanks to the hard work of the FBI and HSI, and thanks to the prosecutors tirelessly working these cases, defendants who produce, collect or possess child pornography have been sent to prison for lengthy sentences."
"Our nationwide Operation Predator program in Homeland Security Investigations aggressively targets and pursues prosecution for anyone who sexually exploits children," said Michael Holt, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Denver. "These successful cases provide some small level of justice for the most vulnerable and innocent members of society." Holt oversees a four-state area, including Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
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.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form. 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.