News and Press Releases

Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Gets More Than 13+Years for Receipt of Child Pornography

   
March 22, 2012

HOUSTON – Dieter David Palmer, 42, has landed a 160-month federal prison term for receipt of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Palmer pleaded guilty to the charge Dec. 1, 2011.

The investigation began as a Department of Justice Operation (Operation Flicker) targeting a criminal organization operating multiple commercial child pornography websites. Palmer was identified as person who purchased a membership to the sites under investigation. The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) followed-up on current or former Navy and Marine employees who were identified in Operation Flicker as purchasing membership in the illicit sites. On March 11, 2011, an NCIS special agent along with agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) conducted a consensual interview with Palmer to discuss his purchase of membership in the child pornography site. At that time, Palmer admitted to purchasing membership to sites providing child pornography as well as chatting and exchanging images of child pornography through his e-mail account. Palmer consented to a search of the computers at his residence, during which a computer forensic agent located several images of child pornography on Palmer’s desktop computer, laptop computer and an external hard drive.

According to the plea agreement, a forensic search of Palmer's e-mail account revealed that between Feb. 13, 2011, and Feb. 17, 2011, Palmer received 231 images over the Internet of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, who handed down the sentence today, also ordered that be on supervised release for life. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Palmer, previously released on bond, was taken into custody following today’s hearing and will be transferred to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by ICE-HSI and NCIS. 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 tab "resources."

The case was prosecuted by former Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Demetrius Bivins and Assistant United States Attorney Robert Stabe handled the sentencing today.

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