U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Michigan
211 West Fort Street, Suite 2001
Detroit, Michigan 48226
For Immediate Release
February 10, 2009
Terrence Berg, Acting United States Attorney
Contact: Gina Balaya — (313) 226-9758
Vera Fedorak — ATF (313) 202-3407
Shanon Akans — MSP (517) 336-6364
Clinton, Michigan Man Sentenced on Child Pornography and Firearms Conviction
Gerald Morgan, 62, of Clinton, Michigan was sentenced in United States District Court in Detroit for his conviction of Possession of Child Pornography and Felon in Possession of Firearms charges, announced Acting United States Attorney Terrence Berg.
Mr. Berg was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Thomas E. Brandon, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Col. Peter C. Munoz, Michigan State Police (MSP).
Morgan was sentenced by the Honorable Robert H. Cleland to 152 months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.
The information presented to the court at the time of the plea established that on November 20, 2007, law enforcement officers from the MSP and agents from the ATF served search warrants at MORGAN’s home in Clinton, Michigan. As a result of the search warrants, investigators seized an extensive collection of pornographic images that were captured on and transferred to various types of media, including photographs, slides, negatives, DVDs, CDs, computer hard drives and video cassettes. The materials were subsequently examined and found to contain child pornography, specifically the lascivious display of the genital area of minor girls. In some cases, the tapes contained video of the genital areas of both adult and minor females obtained through the use of hidden cameras.
A full analysis of the seized materials revealed MORGAN had over 18,000 child pornographic images that included children involved in sexual acts, sadomasochistic depictions and lascivious exhibitions of children’s genitals. Many of the children depicted in the images were under the age of 12 years. MORGAN’s conduct demonstrated a pattern of activity involving the sexual exploitation of children.
In addition to the child pornography, nine firearms, specifically five rifles, three pistols and one shotgun were also seized. Due to a previous state conviction for felony eavesdropping in 1996 in Northville, Michigan, MORGAN is prohibited from possessing the firearms under Federal law.
Acting United States Attorney Berg said,
We can never forget in these child pornography cases that there is a real child — a little boy or a girl — who was horribly abused in order to manufacture these images of child sexual abuse. Their lives were unalterably scarred for the viewing pleasure of persons that are attracted to this type of material, the demand for which creates a worldwide market for the images and for the abuse they contain. We cannot falter in aggressively pursuing these cases. I congratulate the team of investigators and prosecutors that worked hard on addressing the issues in this case.
SAC Brandon stated,
ATF stands proud with MSP and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in bringing Mr. Morgan to justice. The defendant is a convicted felon who illegally possessed firearms and vile sexual images of children. He belongs behind bars.
Colonel Munoz stated,
This case began when a trooper from the Adrian Post was dispatched to investigate a box of suspicious materials found inside a residence by a new tenant. Thanks to the trooper’s diligence and the cooperation of the ATF and U.S. Attorney’s Office, a sexual predator that spent his life exploiting children is now behind bars.
Acting United States Attorney Berg commended the work of special agents of the ATF Ann Arbor Field Office and officers with the MSP’s Adrian Post and Computer Crimes Unit.
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 in May 2006 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.
Assistant United States Attorneys John O’Brien and Eaton Brown prosecuted the case for the United States.