PITTSBURGH - A man from Houston, Texas, was sentenced Tuesday to seven years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute and receive child pornography. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the High Technology Investigative Unit of the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).
Daniel Cox, 45, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania on July 21, 2010 to one count of conspiracy to distribute and receive child pornography. According to court documents and proceedings, Cox and others distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused to other members of an international group that had restricted membership and was formed on a social networking website. Members of the group distributed to one another thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, many of which graphically depicted prepubescent boys, including some infants, being sexually abused and sometimes sodomized or subjected to bondage.
"Anyone who sexually and physically abuses children and distributes child pornography will be held accountable," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "Arresting these individuals and bringing them to justice is a top HSI priority."
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.