News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Repeat Offender Sentenced To A Dozen Years In Prison For Possession Of Child Pornography

Anacortes Man with Prior Convictions and Probation Violations for Child Pornography

December 6, 2012

            An Anacortes, Washington resident was sentenced today to twelve years in prison and lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  PHILLIP L. TAYLOR, 45, has prior convictions involving child pornography from 1999 and 2004.  When he came to the attention of law enforcement in Skagit County in 2011, more than 2,000 images of child pornography were found on just one thumb drive in his possession.  At sentencing U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly told him, “I am overwhelmed by the harm caused to the young people who are victims.  They will never be able to put this to rest because of the pictures that are out there on the Internet.”

            TAYLOR was originally arrested on state charges in October 2011, and was indicted federally on May 31, 2012.  He pleaded guilty August 15, 2012.  According to records filed in the case, TAYLOR was sentenced to three years in prison in 1999 when he was charged and convicted of trading child pornography online.  Shortly after he completed that sentence, he was found in violation of his supervised release when on a work trip he used his work issued computer to chat on line about offering a 12-year-old girl for sex.  TAYLOR’s supervised release was revoked and he was incarcerated for another year.  In September 2011, law enforcement in multiple jurisdictions became aware of TAYLOR’s online activities trading child pornography using file sharing programs.  TAYLOR was out of state on a business trip when the search warrant at his residence was executed.  Upon returning to Anacortes, TAYLOR brought what he claimed was the laptop he had with him on the business trip to law enforcement.  In fact, TAYLOR had taken a different laptop from his employer to provide to police.  Forensic investigation of the computers found in TAYLOR’s residence and a thumb drive TAYLOR had taken with him on the business trip revealed thousands of images and videos of child pornography.  Most of the images and videos were in the “unallocated space” of the computers and thumb drive, indicating that an attempt had been made to delete them.

            In asking for the 12-year sentence prosecutors wrote to the court, “Taylor’s actions contributed to the demand for these horrific images of abuse.  Every participant in the chain--producer, distributor, consumer--sustains the market for these images, and each victim, whether identified or not, suffers not only when an image of him or her is created, but each and every time an image of him or her is viewed.  It is these harms that warrant a lengthy sentence, to sufficiently punish Taylor for his repeated conduct in victimizing these children, to deter him from engaging in this same activity yet again in the future, to deter others like him from continuing to victimize children, and to reflect the seriousness of this crime.”

            “It’s a horrifying fact that by trading child pornography on the Internet, offenders like Taylor effectively sentence those depicted to a lifetime of victimization,” said Brad Bench, special agent in charge of HSI Seattle. “It was a proactive undercover child predator operation by Bedford County (Virginia) authorities that discovered Taylor and led Mount Vernon and Anacortes police to him. As this case demonstrates, HSI and authorities around the country are aggressively targeting these offenders to bring them to justice.”

            The case was investigated by the Mount Vernon Police Department, the Anacortes Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marci Ellsworth.

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