SEATTLE — A Bothell man faces at least 15 years in federal prison after admitting he spent years creating, collecting and swapping child pornography.
Donald McCoy Jr., 53, pleaded guilty to a half-dozen federal crimes Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. He has been locked up since October 2016, when federal agents and local police converged on his home along 231st Street SE.
McCoy faces from 15 years to 30 years behind bars under federal sentencing guidelines.
He came to the attention of a special agent with the federal Department of Homeland Security who serves as a member of the Seattle Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The agent was working undercover, using software that allowed him to download files shared on person-to-person networks.
The files included images of children being sexually abused. The agent was able to harvest the internet address of somebody who was involved in the distribution, according to court papers.
As the investigation progressed, the agent was able to use the internet address to directly obtain more pornographic files from the source. That led the task force to seek subscriber information from the internet provider and, ultimately, to obtain a federal judge’s permission to search McCoy’s home.
Federal investigators were joined on the search by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and police from Bothell and Seattle.
The man told investigators that he’d been seeking out and collecting child pornography using person-to-person networks for about five years.
“He has viewed and downloaded child pornography files depicting toddler girls as young as 2, but he mainly seeks out and is attracted to 12-14 year old minor girls,” a federal agent wrote in court papers filed after McCoy’s arrest.
The search also turned up pornographic images that McCoy admitted creating between 2005 and 2013. All involved young girls. He told investigators he abused them without their knowledge, including while they slept, according to the plea agreement.
The children were between the ages of 6 and 13, the U.S. attorneys office said in a press release.
The defendant admitted sharing the images with others online while also amassing a digital collection that at the time of his arrest included 1,000 videos and 6,000 images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to court papers.
Sentencing is scheduled for March.
Scott North: 425-339-3431; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snorthnews.