News

Bowie Man Sentenced to over 7 Years in Prison For Distributing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2012

Greenbelt, Maryland - Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Steven Woolley, age 29, of Bowie, Maryland, today to 90 months in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, for distributing child pornography. Chief Judge Chasanow also ordered that upon his release from prison, Woolley must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to the plea agreement, on January 5, 2011, Woolley made 133 files available for distribution on a file sharing program, 77 of which had titles indicative of child pornography. An undercover officer downloaded 11 videos from Woolley which depicted children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On January 28, 2011, Maryland State Police executed a search warrant at Woolley’s residence and seized computers and other digital media. Woolley admitted that he used multiple file sharing programs to store and trade child pornography. A subsequent forensic examination of the computers and hard drives used by Woolley revealed approximately 56 videos documenting the sexual exploitation of children, including the videos downloaded by the undercover officer. The folder where the videos were stored was titled “Pedo,” and had sub-folders that divided the videos based on the age of the child.

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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE HSI 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 or its online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and the Maryland State Police, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the U.S. Justice Department, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, who prosecuted the case.


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