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COEUR D’ALENE—John Patrick McClaren, 46, of Hayden Lake, Idaho, pleaded guilty today to one count of distributing child pornography that is an adapted or modified depiction of an identifiable minor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. An information charging McClaren with the offense was filed in United States District Court in Coeur d’Alene on February 24.
According to the plea agreement, on December 10, 2009, a member of the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force developed information that an Internet Protocol (IP) address registered to a Hayden Lake, Idaho, residence was involved in the distribution of child pornography using peer-to-peer software. Following an investigation, McClaren was found to be living at the residence. On January 27, 2010, ICAC members served a federal search warrant at the residence and seized a laptop computer and two hard drives. McClaren was present during the search and agreed to speak to investigators. During the interview, he admitted that he had been downloading child pornography for several months using a peer-to-peer network and the Internet.
FBI forensic examination discovered that the two hard drives from McClaren’s laptop computer contained at least 160 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. One image was later identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to be that of a minor from New Hampshire. McClaren has agreed to forfeit the computer and hard drives used in the offense.
McClaren faces up to 15 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a minimum term of five years of supervised release.
Sentencing is set for June 19, 2012 before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.
The case was investigated by the North Idaho ICAC working group, comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, Post Falls Police Department, Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office, Moscow Police Department, Bonner County Sheriff’s Office, Lewiston Police Department, Idaho Attorney General’s Office, Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). For more information about the Idaho ICAC Task Force, visit www.icacidaho.org.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.
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