LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced Thursday that Michael Robert Gleason, 50, of Houston, Texas and formerly of Lake Charles, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi, to five years in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography.
According to a news release from Finley, Gleason, a Chief Warrant Officer with the U.S. Coast Guard, was charged in April 2012 with one count of possession of child pornography, subsequent to a search warrant executed by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and officers with the Louisiana State Police at Gleason's residence in Lake Charles on Aug. 16, 2011.
Finley said during the execution of the search warrant, agents seized a laptop, desktop computer, and various CDs. According to documents filed with the court at Gleason's guilty plea on July 19, 2012, the CDs contained approximately 88 movie files of child pornography. Gleason admitted that the child pornography depicted scenes of juvenile males and females engaged in explicit sexual acts, images of prepubescent minors, sadistic or masochistic conduct, and other depictions of violence. Gleason also admitted that the offense involved 600 or more images of child pornography and that he used Limewire and Frostwire, both peer-to-peer file sharing software, to download and possess the child pornography, knowing that it was illegal.
According to federal officials, Limewire and Frostwire are Internet sites used to trade files among members and are regularly used to receive and distribute child pornography.
The case was reportedly investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent Eric Link and Louisiana State Police Master Trooper Michael Hebert. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. McCoy.
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 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 U.S. Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.