-- A former top federal official was sentenced to 25 years in prison today after being convicted of participating in a child pornography ring that sources say was so depraved, it even shocked veteran investigators.
DeFoggi, 56, formerly of Germantown, Maryland, was convicted on Aug. 26, 2014, following a four-day jury trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp in the District of Nebraska of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography and accessing a computer with intent to view child pornography.
In a statement issued after DeFoggi’s sentencing, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said, “Using the same technological expertise he employed as Acting Director of Cyber Security at HHS, DeFoggi attempted to sexually exploit children and traffic in child pornography through an anonymous computer network of child predators."
Caldwell said, “Dangerous criminals cannot be allowed to operate on-line with impunity. Today’s sentence shows that the Department of Justice will bring criminals and child predators to justice, even when they employ anonymous networks like Tor.”
DeFoggi is the sixth person to be convicted as part of an ongoing, federal investigation targeting three Tor-network-based child pornography websites. The Justice Department said the websites were run by a single administrator, Aaron McGrath, who was previously convicted in the District of Nebraska of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise in connection with his administration of the websites. On Jan. 31, 2014, McGrath was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
These cases were 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.