Registered Sex Offender Sentenced to 35 Years in Federal Prison for Transportation and Possession of Child Pornography
A registered sex offender was sentenced today to 35 years in prison for transporting and possessing child pornography, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John F. Walsh of the District of Colorado and Special Agent in Charge David Thompson of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Denver Field Office.
“Insidious crimes like this steal the innocence and youth of our nation’s children,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “The Department of Justice is committed to investigating, prosecuting and incapacitating those who prey upon the most vulnerable members of our society.”
“Defendant Hopson, by his repeated acts of victimization and criminal conduct, has made clear that he poses a real and present danger to children and to society,” said U.S. Attorney Walsh. “The sentence imposed today will neutralize this dangerous perpetrator for 35 years and is a true victory for the community and for Colorado’s children.”
“Anyone who collects and shares child pornography victimizes the most innocent and most vulnerable members of our society,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Thompson. “This lengthy prison sentence recognizes the trauma that predators inflict on helpless children.”
Gregory Lynn Hopson, 44, of Westminster, Colorado was indicted on Oct. 24, 2012, and pleaded guilty to transportation and possession of child pornography on Sept. 29, 2014. He has been in custody since his arrest on March 5, 2011. Based on the conduct described below, Hopson is currently serving a state prison sentence of 16 years to life for violating the terms of his state probation in connection with his prior conviction for sexual assault on a child. In addition to the prison sentence imposed today, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock of the District of Colorado ordered Hopson to pay restitution to the victim of his crime.
According to Hopson’s admissions in his plea agreement, during the execution of a search warrant at his residence on March 5, 2011, ICE agents seized Hopson’s encrypted computer and CD-ROMs, which contained a well-organized collection of thousands of images and videos of child pornography. The material depicted children, including infants, being sexually abused. One of the CD-ROMs contained images and videos of Hopson engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a child under the age of 12 with whom Hopson was in a position of trust.
Hopson further admitted in his plea agreement that he exchanged child pornography with others over the Internet. In fact, ICE agents recovered approximately 300 emails that Hopson sent or received containing approximately 1,700 images and videos of child pornography.
At the time of the search warrant, Hopson was already a registered sex offender, having been convicted of sexually abusing two children under the age of 12. He was on intensive probation and was undergoing sex offender treatment when he committed these offenses.
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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the resources tab.
This case was investigated by HSI, and prosecuted by Trial Attorney Keith Becker of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, and Chief Judith A. Smith and Assistant U.S. Attorney Beth N. Gibson of the District of Colorado’s Special Prosecution Section.