News

Silver Spring Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography


Possessed over 866,000 Images and 8,100 Movies Portraying the Sexual Abuse of Children
Also Admitted Sexually Molesting Three Boys

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - Gary Callis, age 42, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to two counts of distributing 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 Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

“As this case demonstrates, people who distribute child pornography often are involved in sexual abuse of children in reality and not just fantasy,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the plea agreement, in November and December, 2009, two separate FBI undercover operations in San Diego and Richmond, respectively, used file sharing programs to download images from a user, later determined to be Callis, which depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The Richmond undercover agent also engaged Callis in a chat, during which Callis stated he looked forward to trading images and that he “had some boy relations” with boys aged six to 14 and was presently looking for 14 to 20 year old boys. Callis specifically described to the undercover agent his molestation of a boy from the time the child was six years old until he was 12 years old.

On February 26, 2010, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Callis’ residence in Silver Spring, and seized three external hard drives, two laptop computer, a computer tower and a memory card. A subsequent forensic examination of the digital media revealed that Callis possessed over 866,000 images and 8,100 movies portraying the sexual abuse of children. Agents found that the collection was highly organized, divided into folder titles with a number or letter, then further subdivided by a child’s name or a description of the contents. Callis’ computers also revealed that his primary means of trading child pornography was through the file sharing program where the FBI undercover officers discovered Callis.

Callis was present during the search of his residence and admitted to investigators that in 2000 he had sexually molested a teenaged neighbor who was visiting his house and in 2003 had begun molesting the son of his girlfriend, who was seven years old at the time.

As part of his plea agreement, Callis 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).

Callis faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. As part of his plea agreement, Callis will also pay approximately $24,000 in restitution to one of the victims of his sexual abuse for treatment and counseling expenses.

As part of the plea agreement, Callis and the government have agreed that if the Court accepts the plea agreement Callis will be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for November 30, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. Callis has also agreed to plead guilty in a related case in Montgomery County Circuit Court, and agreed that the Circuit Court shall impose a sentence of 17 years in prison in that case, to run concurrent with Callis’ federal sentence. Callis remains detained.

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, Montgomery County Police Department and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in this investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacy Dawson Belf, who are prosecuting the case.


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