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Press Release

Detroit Man Sentenced to 40 years for Child Exploitation Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

A Detroit man was sentenced yesterday to 40 years’ imprisonment for convictions of producing child pornography and receiving child pornography online, announced United States Attorney Matthew Schneider.

Schneider was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis, Homeland Security Investigations.

Sentenced was Michael Jonathan Pankey, age 38.

In November 2018, Pankey pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation crimes.  According to court records, Pankey admitted that he molested and took sexually explicit photographs of a five year old child.  He also admitted to downloading child pornography from the internet.  Pankey previously worked at an early childhood center. 

“Sexual exploitation is one of the most depraved crimes committed, and this case is especially disturbing given the defendant’s former role as a daycare service provider,” said Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis of HSI Detroit. “This sentence serves as a reminder that HSI is committed to collaborating with its community partners to bring to justice those who exploit children.”

This case was investigated by Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations.  The case is part of the Project Safe Childhood initiative, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maggie Smith.

Updated April 23, 2019

Project Safe Childhood