WASHINGTON - Donald Collier, 45, was sentenced today to nine years in prison for mailing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer and Acting U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California George S. Cardona.
Collier of Carpinteria, Calif., was also sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu of the Central District of California to lifetime supervised release following his prison term, and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.
Collier pleaded guilty on June 1, 2009, to one count of mailing child pornography. As part of his plea agreement, Collier admitted that he twice traveled to Europe in 2006, and during these trips participated in pre-arranged photo shoots during which he took pictures of seven girls who were between seven- and 14-years-old. The photo sessions were arranged by an individual in Italy who sold videos of child pornography through a Web site. Collier admitted that prior to these trips, he purchased a number of videos through this Web site. Through his plea agreement, Collier admitted that the videos he ordered and the photos he produced depicted girls either partially or fully nude and in provocative poses.
Collier also admitted that upon his return to the United States from the second European trip, he mailed a CD containing the images he produced to an individual in Europe.
Collier was identified through Operation Joint Hammer, the U.S. component of an ongoing global enforcement operation targeting transnational rings of child pornographers. The operation already has led to the arrest of more than 60 people in the United States involved in the trade of child pornography.
Operation Joint Hammer was initiated through evidence developed by European law enforcement and shared with U.S. counterparts by Europol and Interpol. The European portion of this global enforcement effort, Operation Koala, was launched after the discovery of a handful of people in Europe who were molesting children and producing photographs of that abuse for commercial gain. Further investigation unveiled a number of online child pornography rings – some of which hosted dangerous offenders who not only traded child pornography, but who themselves sexually abused children.
Law enforcement has determined that the customers of the Web site were located in nearly 30 countries around the world, including the United States.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen I. Meyer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California and Trial Attorney Alexandra R. Gelber of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.