NEW ORLEANS – A Louisiana man was sentenced to 12 ½ years in federal prison Wednesday for one count of receiving and one count of distributing child pornography.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana. The sentencing follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigations’ Cyber Crime Unit.
Darion Veal, 21, of Gray, previously admitted during his guilty plea in December 2015, that he received and distributed child pornography. In January 2015, HSI and state investigators executed a search warrant of Veal’s residence and discovered child pornography on electronic media maintained and controlled by Veal. On March 3, 2015, Veal was taken into federal custody pursuant to a federal criminal complaint.
In addition to his prison term, U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance ordered Veal to serve 20 years of supervised release following the completion of his prison sentence. Veal will also be required to register as a sex offender upon his release.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.