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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Jefferson County Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Federal Prison for Production of Child Pornography

Defendant took over 3,500 photos of, and sexually exploited a biological relative for a number of years

DENVER – Daniel Spear, age 50, of Jefferson County, Colorado, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson to serve 240 months (20 years) in federal prison, followed by a life time of supervised release for the production of child pornography, U.S. Attorney John Walsh and FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle announced.  Spear, who appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, was remanded at its conclusion.

Spear was first charged by Criminal Complaint on November 5, 2014.  He was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 2, 2014.  He pled guilty before Judge Jackson on May 13, 2015, and was sentenced on March 17, 2016.

According to court documents, including the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, the defendant produced child pornography with a minor under his care and control, from approximately November 2012 through November 2014 in Colorado and Idaho.  In addition, defendant Spear engaged in sexually explicit conduct, coercing the minor for the express purpose of producing child pornography.  In total there were 3.256 unique photographs of child pornography of said minor on an SD card.  Further, there were another 503 images of the same minor on his laptop.  The minor first admitted to a school counselor and later an FBI child forensic interviewer that she had been sexually molested for two years by Spear, with the first time occurring when she was in 7th grade.

“Defendant’s systematic sexual abuse of a child in his care earned him every second of his 20 year sentence,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.   “That he turned this horrific abuse into child pornography further proves the justice of this severe sentence.”

“Those who sexually abuse our children to produce child pornography deserve every single day of their prison sentence," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle. "The FBI will continue to work with federal, state and local authorities to remove predators like Daniel Spear from our community and protect children."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Spear was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Covell and Judy Smith.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC 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 PSC, please visit  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 22, 2016