News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Registered Sex Offender Pleads Guilty To Possession Of Child Pornography

Defendant with 1991 Texas Conviction Faces Mandatory Minimum 10 Years in Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 18, 2012

            A Des Moines, Washington, registered sex offender pleaded guilty this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Seattle to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  Because of a 1991 Texas conviction for indecency with a child, GREGORY SEAN O’NEALL, 51, faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison and up to 20 years in prison when sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman on December 13, 2012.  In his plea agreement, O’NEALL admits he possessed more than 30,000 images of child pornography.

            According to records in the case, 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 agent with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations was working undercover on the site and 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 that he took of young girls.  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 in June 2012, 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.

            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.

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