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David P. Foley (age: 51) formerly of Whitefish Bay, WI was convicted on November 29, 2012 following a four-day jury trial for a six-count indictment, including one count of distribution of child pornography, three counts of production of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in a sex act. Foley faces a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 15 years in federal prison with a maximum exposure of 160 years. Sentencing is set for February 15, 2013 before Hon. J.P. Stadtmueller, United States District Judge.
In August 2010, Fox 6 News in Milwaukee received an anonymous package containing a DVD with numerous images of child pornography and a typed letter indicating the DVD was found in a dumpster behind a business in Whitefish Bay. Fox 6 turned this information over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) who conducted the investigation.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Foley had attempted to frame his landlord for these crimes. DCI was able to determine that the child pornography images had been “burned” or copied to the disc on August 10, 2010, just a few days before its delivery to the TV station. In December of 2010, Foley claimed that he found a Toshiba laptop computer bag behind the barbershop near where his landlord’s car was parked. Foley told people that the laptop contained child pornography and it was turned over to authorities. The investigation revealed that Foley purchased the computer off of Craig’s list. The child pornography was first uploaded to the Toshiba laptop on November 21, 2010.
A search warrant was obtained for Foley’s apartment to seize his computers. A forensic examination of Foley’s computers revealed that Foley had placed the images of child pornography on the disc mailed to the news station and also on the Toshiba laptop. All of this was done in an attempt by Foley to set up his landlord and have him arrested for possession of child pornography. Before the DVD was received at the TV station, Foley told individuals that his landlord was “going to be in trouble,” and that they should “watch the news.” In the months leading up to the receipt of the DVD, numerous persons acquainted with Foley heard him complain bitterly about his landlord, who Foley accused of harassing him and interfering with the operation of the Sport N Cuts business.
Foley’s computers also revealed that he had sexually molested a 14-year old boy and had video taped the molestation on 3 separate occasions. When the child in these videos was identified, DCI discovered that Foley had taken the boy to a hotel near the Mall of America in March, 2011, where he sexually molested the boy.
This case was prosecuted in federal court as part of “Project Safe Childhood,” the Department of Justice’s nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 using the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. More information about Project Safe Childhood.
In June 2012, following the overwhelming media and public response to a public-outreach campaign, special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) positively identified and located an individual pictured in a ICE news release. Information leading to identifying the individual was provided by a private citizen to the HSI tip line.
The June 25 operation to identify and locate the individual was accomplished by HSI special agents in St. Paul, Minn., Milwaukee, Wis., and Washington D.C. — in cooperation with investigators from the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).
With help from both the media and the public, HSI and Wisconsin DCI special agents not only identified the person in the photos, but they also identified and rescued a child victim. Due to the ages of the individuals involved and the sensitive nature of this on-going investigation, no further information can be released at this time. However, state-level charges are anticipated in this matter.
“Homeland Security Investigations takes very seriously our responsibility of protecting the public from threats, and especially threats against children,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Michael Feinberg of HSI St. Paul. “In this unusual case, we successfully partnered with the media and public to rescue a child.”
“The success of this investigation is another example of the important role all citizens play in protecting our children,” said former Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. “Their protection is among the highest of priorities for law enforcement. I am grateful to ICE for their continued cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice.”
HSI is grateful to members of the media, and especially to Minnesota and western Wisconsin media, which aggressively assisted in publicizing the limited specifics that could be shared to help rescue at least one child victim. We are also thankful to members of the public who provided numerous tips, and were responsible for making this a successful operation.
In May 2012, Sean P. May, 28, Ellsworth, Wisconsin, was charged in United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin with possessing two computer hard drives that contained visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The indictment alleges that he possessed the computer hard drives on February 8, 2012.
The charges against him are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.
The May 2012 indictment 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 U.S. 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. More information about Project Safe Childhood.
In November 2012, May was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and a life term of supervision as a condition of release.