News and Press Releases

"Pasco Man Sentenced To 20 Years In Federal Prison For Production Of Child Pornography"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2014

Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Alton V. Morehead, age 36, of Pasco, Washington, was sentenced today for Production of Child Pornography. Senior United States District Court Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced Morehead to a twenty year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 25 year term of court supervision after he is released from Federal prison. Morehead will also be required to register as a sex offender.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, in May 2012, a Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) accessed a photo hosting website and found a profile with an associated e-mail address that contained multiple risqué photos of children. HSI commenced investigation and obtained further information about the associated e-mail account, determining the account holder was Alton V. Morehead of Pasco, Washington.

On May 23, 2013, HSI Special Agents obtained a search warrant for Morehead's e-mail account. Agents discovered child pornography which Morehead had received over the internet. Additional e-mail accounts were subsequently identified as being utilized by Morehead. The e-mail accounts were used both for receipt of child pornography and distribution of child pornography produced by Morehead of several minors left in his care. Special Agents interviewed Morehead, who admitted his criminal conduct.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, "Prosecuting those who produce and distribute pornographic images of vulnerable minors is a priority of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington. This Office dedicates significant resources to prosecuting such cases and seeks appropriate punishment."

"This is another example of what we see all too often, a trader of child pornography himself exploiting children to produce illicit images," said Brad Bench, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Seattle. "Every day, HSI Special Agents pursue individuals who prey on children for their self-gratification. This significant sentence comes as a result of such an investigation."

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative ("PSC") has five major components:

  • Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to identify and rescue child victims;
  • Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;
  • Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;
  • Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and
  • Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources".

This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

13-CR-6047-EFS

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