PITTSBURGH - Patrick Carney of Manchester, N.H., was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for his role in a child exploitation enterprise. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
For several years leading up to 2009, the 67-year-old man, as part of an international group of child pornography collectors, used an otherwise legitimate social networking website to distribute thousands of sexually explicit images of children to each other.
According to court documents, many of the images were of prepubescent, mostly male children, some as young as infants, being graphically sexually abused and sometimes sodomized, or subjected to bondage. The group included at least three members who personally produced child pornography or engaged in sexual contact offenses against children. At least two of the members shared the child pornography they produced with other members of the group.
Members of the child pornography group participated in the exchange of images from their computers from Pennsylvania and other states, as well as from several foreign countries.
"HSI is determined to bring child pornographers and anyone who exploits the most vulnerable members of our society to justice," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "The sexual abuse of young children is a crime that will not be tolerated."
Carney had pleaded guilty on June 4, 2010, to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise. He and others distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused. Some of the group's members then distributed thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children to one another, and posted images of young girls on their accounts, attempting to accommodate other members, even if the posting member's sexual preference was for young boys.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. 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.