Prolific Producer of Child Exploitation Material from Philadelphia Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Andrew Dickson, 58, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to twenty years in prison, and lifetime supervised release by United States District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones for the production, receipt, and possession of voluminous amounts of child pornography, and for accessing a website with the intent to view child pornography.
In 2015, the FBI infiltrated an extensive child exploitation website hidden on the dark web and, as part of that investigation, identified the defendant as a member of the site. The investigation showed that the defendant had produced and created his own child pornography by paying overseas child sex traffickers for online live-streaming shows of children being raped and sexually abused, and then recorded the live-streaming and saved it. When the FBI arrested him, Dickson was found in possession of over 78,000 images of children being sexually abused and exploited, which the defendant had collected over a span of at least 15 years.
This prosecution was a result of Operation Pacifier, an exceptional FBI investigation which has led to hundreds of prosecutions for crimes against children. Operation Pacifier was led by Special Agent Daniel Alfin, who was tragically murdered in Florida on February 2, 2021, during the execution of a child exploitation search warrant in a separate case.
“Not only did this defendant commit the heinous crime of possessing child pornography, but he actively created it for himself and others by exploiting vulnerable children around the world,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “The size and scope of Mr. Dickson’s ‘collection’ is truly heinous, and we gratefully acknowledge the work of Special Agent Alfin and all the men and women of the FBI who seek to bring these offenders to justice.”
“Andrew Dickson’s actions caused vulnerable children to undergo unimaginable horrors,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “These kids were sexually abused at his direction, while he watched and recorded the exploitation in order to repeatedly relive it. Given the subject matter, cases like this are some of the most difficult the FBI works. They’re also some of the most meaningful. Operation Pacifier is a prime example of the dedication shown by agents like Dan Alfin and FBI Crimes Against Children investigators in Philadelphia and across the country, who are driven to put predators like Dickson behind bars where they can’t harm another child.”
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 was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Priya T. De Souza.