HOPKINS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTION OF
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Ronald Eugene Mabee, 66, of Hopkins, Michigan pleaded guilty today, Thursday, July 18, 2013, to distributing child pornography via the Internet, U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr. announced. Mabee faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment, and he will be required to serve a term of supervised release after his prison term has been completed. Mabee will also be required to register as a sexual offender.
During an on-line investigation last May, an undercover officer downloaded numerous child pornography files that Mabee had made available on the Internet. Agents then interviewed Mabee, who confessed to searching out and downloading child pornography via the Internet 50-60 times over the course of several months. Forensic analysis confirmed the presence of child pornography on Mabee’s computer. In pleading guilty, Mabee admitted that he knowingly made the child pornography he had downloaded from the Internet available for others to download.
U.S. Attorney Miles commented: “My office is committed to shutting down the child pornography market. If offenders like Mr. Mabee did not seek to possess and distribute this material, others would not produce it in the first place. These are not victimless crimes. The penalties are severe and deservedly so.”
“Child pornography is the permanent record of the sexual exploitation of children, and this victimization continues every time that image is transmitted, downloaded, shared, or viewed,” said William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI Detroit. SAC Hayes added “HSI Special Agents will continue to aggressively target those who engage in this depraved activity.”
This case is part of Operation iGuardian and Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis prosecuted the case.