Former Metro Investigator Sentenced to over Six Years in Prison for Child Pornography Conviction
Las Vegas, Nev. – A former crime scene investigator with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) has been sentenced to over six years in federal prison for his guilty plea to transportation of child pornography, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Daniel Robert Peterson, age 56, of Las Vegas, was sentenced on Monday, February 12, 2007, by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan to 78 months in prison and lifetime supervised release. He pleaded guilty on June 27, 2006, to one count of transporting child pornography.
"The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that, at any given time, 50,000 predators are on the Internet prowling for children," said U.S. Attorney Bogden. "It is not an exaggeration to say that we are in the midst of an epidemic of sexual abuse and exploitation of our children. In the District of Nevada alone, we have prosecuted over 160 defendants in the last five years for sex crimes against children. We will continue to aggressively prosecute these disturbing cases."
Peterson was employed as a Senior Crime Scene Investigator with LVMPD. He resigned in November 2005. On September 28, 2005, a co-worker of Peterson's at LVMPD found a pornographic image of a child on a LVMPD laptop computer. LVMPD investigators determined that Peterson was the user of the laptop on the day the image was placed on the computer. Further investigation uncovered images of child sexual abuse on other LVMPD laptops, and the LVMPD initiated a criminal investigation of Peterson.
Peterson's home was searched on September 29, 2005, and numerous images of child pornography were found on his home computer. Additionally, several other LVMPD laptops used by Peterson were found to contain emails that Peterson had sent and received containing images and videos of child pornography. In some of the emails, the defendant indicated that he had sexually abused his grandchildren.
Agents found a total of between 150 and 300 images of child pornography on all of the computers. Many of the images contained depictions of prepubescent children or children under the age of 12. None of the child pornography was produced in Nevada.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
The case was investigated by the Southern Nevada ICAC Task Force. Its members include the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and FBI. ICAC Task Forces are federally funded through the U.S. Department of Justice and are designed to help state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nancy J. Koppe.