United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Registered Sex Offender Charged With Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography
Defendant with 1991 Texas Conviction Used File Sharing Program to Distribute Child Porn
A Des Moines, Washington, man was arrested this morning on federal charges of possession and distribution of child pornography following an investigation by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. GREGORY SEAN O’NEALL, 51, a convicted sex offender originally from Houston, Texas, made his initial appearance on the complaint this afternoon in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida. O’NEALL has a detention hearing tomorrow.
According to the criminal complaint, O’NEALL came to the attention of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force because of his postings on an online file sharing site. An HSI agent working undercover on the site observed sexually explicit images of children being distributed from O’NEALL’s internet protocol address. The agent engaged O’NEALL in an online chat. O’NEALL discussed various photographs. Further investigation revealed that O’NEALL had posted other pictures in albums on a web site. More than 100 of the photos had been surreptitiously taken of young girls shopping with their families at retail stores. Prior to his arrest O’NEALL worked for a contractor providing food samples at a Costco store in Federal Way, Washington. Some of the pictures appear to have been taken at that store.
Parents who have questions about this case should contact ICE HSI. Agents have setup a voicemail hotline at 206-442-1638.
Distribution of Child Pornography by someone previously convicted of a sex offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum 15 years in prison.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case is being investigated by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerrod Patterson, who coordinates Project Safe Childhood for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.