HSI San Antonio investigation leads to 14-year sentence for man who stored child sexual abuse material in Google account

SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge sentenced a Maryland man to 14 years in prison for receipt of child pornography following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio investigation.

David Edward King, 59, of Ellicott City, Maryland, pleaded guilty Feb. 14, and the judge sentenced him to 168 months in prison followed by 30 years of supervised release. The judge also ordered King to pay $95,000 in restitution to 19 victims.

“The significant sentence imposed on David King sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those individuals who exploit children. King will serve the next 14 years in federal prison for his incomprehensible acts,” said HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society: Our children.”

Authorities arrested King on March 1, 2022. According to court documents, he stored 504 videos and 2,050 images depicting child sexual abuse in Google apps while living in San Antonio. A review of King’s cellphone revealed that he had received the illicit material, some of which involved prepubescent children, via the instant messaging apps ICQ and Telegram. Google became aware of the child sexual abuse material being stored in its Google Photos and Google Drive infrastructure and filed a report with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

King remains in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.

“Individuals who seek out child pornography cause profound harm and further victimize those children by enabling the production of child sexual abuse material,” said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas Jaime Esparza. “Thanks to the valuable work by our partners at Homeland Security Investigations, we continue to identify and prosecute these vile offenders who prey on children for sexual gratification.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson of the Western District of Texas prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock. From outside the United States and Canada, dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ICAC partners, and other federal, state and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. You can report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline. The directorate is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and nongovernment partnerships to identify and rescue child victims; identify and apprehend offenders; prevent transnational child sexual abuse; and help make the internet a safer place for children.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement

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