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Press Release

Hogsett Announces Former Law Enforcement Officer’s Sentence For Child Exploitation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

Hogsett announces sentence shows success of “Operation Community Watch”

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced the conviction and sentencing of a former law enforcement officer on two counts of child exploitation. Derek D. Walton, 31, Liberty IND, was sentenced to 192 months (16 years) in federal prison by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence.

“Protecting the most innocent Hoosier victims is a top priority of this office. It doesn’t matter who you are; if you violate our children, you will be held accountable accordingly,” said Hogsett.

In 2011, federal law enforcement became aware of an account on AOL that was sending child pornography through email. This account was shut down by AOL, but another account was discovered and was traced to Walton. Federal agents served a search warrant at Walton’s home in August 2013. They located a laptop and thumb drive that contained a number of pornographic images and videos depicting a minor female. Agents also found a hidden camera in the living room which was found to contain additional explicit materials showing a minor female.

Walton was an employee of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office where he was employed as a reserve Sheriff’s Deputy and worked as a jail officer. Prior to that position, he was employed by the Richmond Police Department and worked as a deputy marshal for the Laurel Police Department.

“The type of behavior in this case was deplorable. To think that those who vow to protect our community would commit such acts is saddening,” Hogsett said. “That is why we launched Operation Community Watch last year – to protect Hoosier families and send a message.”

This arrest comes one year after Hogsett announced a comprehensive crackdown on child exploitation in Indiana. In 2013, Hogsett launched Operation Community Watch, which has allowed prosecutors and investigators to use cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people in Hoosier communities who are engaged in the receipt and trafficking of child pornography materials.

This investigation was a collaborative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

FBI Indianapolis Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin P. Lyons stated, “The FBI is committed to pursuing on-line child predators through our Innocent Images National Initiative. FBI agents and local and international task force members collaborate with our state and local partners daily in the fight against those who prey on our children.”

According to Senior Litigation Counsel Steve DeBrota, who prosecuted the case for the government, Walton was fined $5000 and must serve a lifetime of supervised release after completing his sentence.

Updated January 26, 2015