U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge Appoints Donald Daniels As Election Officer For The Western District Of Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Thomas L. Wright, 63, of Bangor, Michigan, was sentenced in federal court to a term of fifteen years’ incarceration for producing child pornography. Wright was also sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release. In sentencing Wright, Judge Robert Holmes Bell chastised Wright for sexually exploiting the victim.
Wright befriended a sixteen year-old boy and began a sexual relationship with the boy. In March 2009, Wright took the boy on a trip to Florida and visited Disney World. While in Florida, Wright took multiple sexually explicit pictures of the boy. Wright’s conduct was discovered in 2011, when Wright was identified as a suspect in a ring trading child pornography. Wright was confronted by federal agents from Homeland Security Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and confessed to having a sexual relationship with the then-eighteen-year-old-boy and to taking nude pictures of the boy when the boy was sixteen. Wright’s computer was examined and agents found Wright’s collection of child pornography. Wright was convicted after trial of five counts of producing child pornography, transporting child pornography across state lines, and possessing child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles, Jr., said, “Protecting children is one of our community’s highest priorities. Children should look to adults for guidance and support, and should not have to fear being exploited by them. We cannot abide those who betray that trust and prey on children for their sexual desires.”
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, county prosecutor’s offices, an Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force, federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The investigation of this matter was conducted by HSI-ICE. Prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Mekaru.