Kirkland Man Sentenced to Ten Years in Prison for Large Collection of Images of Child Rape and Molestation
Defendant Profited Financially by Referring Customers to Child Pornography Website
A Kirkland, Washington resident with one of the largest collections of images of children being raped and molested ever seized in Western Washington was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to ten years in prison and ten years of supervised release, announced Acting United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes. DEREK M. HALVERSON, 53, was identified as part of “Project Spade,” an international crackdown on customers of a Toronto, Canada based film company, Azov Films, that distributed child pornography under the guise of “nature films.” HALVERSON was an “affiliate partner” with the company and received commissions and discounts as a result of advertisements HALVERSON knowingly posted on two websites that he operated. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour ordered $7,500 in restitution to victims who had filed with the court.
“This defendant profited financially from the sale and trade of images of children being sexually abused,” said Acting United States Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “His blog posts, “movie reviews,” and other website postings promoted sexual interest in children putting more kids at risk in our communities.”
According to records filed in the case, law enforcement led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service served a search warrant on HALVERSON’s home in March 2013. Agents seized a large number of digital devices containing over 50,000 images and 200 movies of children being sexually exploited. Agents also recovered paperwork indicating HALVERSON received a commission from Azov Films for customers who purchased from the company after clicking on links posted on HALVERSON’s websites.
The international investigation dubbed “Project Spade” has resulted in 348 arrests worldwide. Here in Western Washington, three other defendants have been charged in connection with “Project Spade.”
The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Cecilia Gregson. Ms. Gregson is a Senior Deputy King County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute child exploitation cases in federal court.