BOISE, Idaho - A Caldwell, Idaho, man who amassed one of the biggest collections of child pornography ever discovered by law enforcement in Idaho was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Daniel M. Davis, 49, became a suspect in a nationwide child pornography investigation after ICE agents discovered his personal information and credit card data on a server that contained payments for memberships to known child pornography websites.
The data showed that Davis had purchased child pornography on three occasions in October and November of 2006. These transactions occurred while Davis was on supervised release and participating in sex offender treatment following a 2002 conviction for receipt of child pornography.
In August 2007, ICE agents executed a search warrant at the home the defendant shared with his elderly mother. During the search, 242 printed images of child pornography were seized. Many of the photos were neatly organized in binders.
Agents also seized computer equipment, including a laptop that contained 3,129 sexually explicit images of minors. The home Davis shared with his mother was located less than 100 yards from a park and playground equipment.
After Davis was arrested, he convinced his mother to hide another hard drive and other electronic media, which was later discovered to contain more than 60,000 additional images and 381 videos of child pornography. According to ICE investigators, this hard drive contained the largest collection of child pornography ever encountered in Idaho.
Davis entered a guilty plea to possession of child pornography in June 2008. This was his second conviction on child pornography charges; he had previously pleaded guilty to federal charges of receiving child pornography in June 2002. He was sentenced to serve two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release, which included treatment for sexual deviancy
Davis served his prison time, successfully finished his period of supervision, and registered as a sex offender. However within months of completing his term of supervised release, ICE re-arrested him and charged with him with possession of child pornography.
"This case is a graphic reminder of the important responsibility ICE has to seek out those who use the Internet to sexually exploit innocent children," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations that oversees Idaho. "ICE remains committed to investigating these child predators - whether they are first-time offenders or recidivists - and have them removed from our communities."
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge stated at the sentencing hearing, "This is one of the most heinous cases of child pornography in the court's experience." The judge went on to say that the defendant had been "given leniency when sentenced [previously] in 2002, and obviously didn't learn anything from that because he re-offended while on supervised release."
This case was investigated under Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including Internet child pornographers, those who travel overseas for sex with minors, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals.
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.