Carroll County Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting Children to Produce Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland - Daniel Walter Blake, age 33, of Hampstead, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to two counts of sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Colonel Terrence Sheridan, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police and Carroll County State’s Attorney Jerry Barnes.
According to Blake’s plea agreement, on March 10, 2010, troopers with the Maryland State Police went to Blake’s home to investigate a report they received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that Blake was distributing child pornography involving prepubescent males. Blake advised that he did have child pornography and produced 27 images of child pornography, as well as three micro SD media cards believe to contain child pornography. Troopers obtained a search warrant and took a number of items from Blake’s home. A forensic examination of Blake’s laptop and hard drive revealed over 1,000 images and over 500 video files of child pornography, including the images reported by NCMEC. Most of these images involved prepubescent boys and portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. The forensic review also showed that Blake had distributed some of these images through the internet using his computer. Blake also admitted abusing children, including two prepubescent boys, whom he coerced to engage in sexually explicit conduct so that Blake could photograph that conduct. Those images were also found on Blake’s computer.
Blake faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of thirty years in prison on each of the two counts of sexually abusing a minor to produce child pornography, followed by supervised release up to life. If the court accepts the plea, the parties have agreed that 30 years in prison is the appropriate disposition of this case. In addition, upon his release from prison, Blake 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). U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for May 31, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.
As part of his plea agreement, Blake acknowledges that the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office will recommend a sentence of 60 years in prison, concurrent to his federal sentence, with all but 40 years suspended, in connection with related state charges.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Maryland State Police and the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Judson T. Mihok, who is prosecuting the case.