WASHINGTON – Donald Banker, 65, of Methuen, Mass., was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to all counts of a three-count indictment which charged him with receipt and possession of child pornography, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Michael J. Sullivan and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) New England Field Office Special Agent in Charge Bruce M. Foucart announced today. Banker is the most recent defendant to be convicted in “Operation Emissary,” an ICE nationwide investigation which targeted a Web site that offered images and movies of hardcore child pornography.
In addition to imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro also ordered Banker to serve a five year term of supervised release, to begin immediately following Banker’s release from prison.
According to the plea and other documents in the case, Banker admitted to accessing the child pornography Web site in January 2006 and then downloading at least two sexually explicit images of children. Investigators also determined that at the time of his arrest, Banker possessed two computers in his home which contained more than 600 illegal images. Some of the images depicted pre-pubescent children being subjected to sadistic or masochistic conduct. Banker was indicted on two counts of receiving child pornography from the Web site, as well as one count of knowingly possessing computers and computer media which contained child pornography.
Operation Emissary, which began in 2006, focused on a commercial Web site offering access to videos and images of hardcore child pornography. The Web site alerted would-be subscribers that subscribing to the Web site was illegal and warned them to be discreet about their purchases. Investigators targeted individuals like Banker who subscribed to the Web site over a period of approximately two to three months at the end of 2005 and 2006. To date, more than 290 arrests have been made as part of the resulting nationwide sweep.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dana Gershengorn for the District of Massachusetts and Trial Attorneys Darcy Katzin and Elizabeth Yusi of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. ICE’s New England Field Office conducted the investigation.