U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
October 27, 2014

Former American Airlines Pilot Sentenced to 21 Years for Child Pornography Offenses

TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Donald Edwin Gallagher, Jr. (52, St. Petersburg) to 21 years in federal prison for production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. The court also ordered Gallagher to forfeit computers and electronic media that he had used to commit the offenses, and to pay restitution to the victims of his offenses. He was found guilty by a federal jury on March 13, 2014.

According to court documents, in January 2013, an undercover detective with the St. Petersburg Police Department downloaded approximately 15 files depicting child pornography from an Internet protocol address that traced back to Gallagher’s residence. Based upon an investigation into the origin of these images, the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies executed a federal search warrant at the residence. During the search, agents located and seized a laptop computer belonging to Gallagher, as well as hard drives and other digital media on which agents located thousands of images and hundreds of videos depicting child pornography. Upon further investigation and review of Gallagher’s digital media, law enforcement officials determined that Gallagher had used two minor victims to produce images and videos of them engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This case was investigated by the FBI and members of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, including the Largo Police Department and the St. Petersburg Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Josephine W. Thomas and Stacie B. Harris.

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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