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Press Release

Former American Airlines Pilot Convicted Of Production, Distribution, And Possession Of Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

          Tampa, FL – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Donald Edwin Gallagher, Jr. (51, St. Petersburg) guilty of two counts of production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography. Gallagher faces a maximum penalty of 30 years’ imprisonment on each production count, 20 years in prison on the distribution count, and up to 10 years for the possession charge. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled for a later date.

Gallagher was arrested on a criminal complaint on July 24, 2013, and indicted on December 18, 2013.          

According to evidence presented at trial, in January 2013 an undercover detective with the St. Petersburg Police Department downloaded approximately 15 files of child pornography from an Internet Protocol (IP) address that traced back to Gallagher’s residence, in St. Petersburg. Based upon the investigation into the origin of these images, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other local agencies executed a federal search warrant at that residence. During the search, agents located and seized a laptop computer belonging to Gallagher, as well as hard drives and other digital media, on which agents located thousands of images and hundreds of videos containing child pornography. Upon further investigation and review of Gallagher’s digital media, law enforcement recognized the background in some of the pornographic images and videos as being Gallagher’s residence. Law enforcement later determined that Gallagher had produced images and videos of two minor victims engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Gallagher stored these images and videos on his various digital devices. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, including the Largo Police Department and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Josephine W. Thomas and Stacie B. Harris.          

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

Updated January 26, 2015