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September 24, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Bonney Lake man pleads guilty to possession of child porn

A 45-year-old Bonney Lake man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty this week in U.S. District Court to possessing and distributing child pornography, including a nearly six-minute video that shows the sexual abuse of an infant girl who was hung upside-down, beaten and tortured with ice and a lit candle.

Kevin Gerald Heiland collected more than 40,000 child-porn images and videos, according to a plea agreement, and downloaded many of them over a neighbor’s unsecured Wi-Fi system that he had installed. Heiland was arrested only after the FBI served a search warrant at the neighbor’s house, believing that individual had been visiting an Internet bulletin board “specifically designed to facilitate the viewing, receipt and distribution of material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors,” according to the agreement.

The bulletin board was discovered by police in Denmark in 2011 and is not identified in court documents by name.

According to charges filed against Heiland in March, agents with the Danish police and eventually the U.S. Department of Homeland Security infiltrated the bulletin board by taking over accounts of members who were targeted in “unrelated law enforcement actions,” and eventually identified an address in Bonney Lake they believed was associated with a computer used by the one of the bulletin board’s members. They served a search warrant at the address, but an on-scene forensic review of the computer turned up no suspect images.

The couple who lived at the home identified Heiland as the man who had installed their wireless network, and that he had left it unsecured.

Heiland was arrested and, according to the complaint, told agents that his “interest in child pornography began many years ago.” Both the complaint and the plea agreement contain a vivid written description by an agent of a torture video involving an infant girl.

Heiland faces up to 20 years in federal prison, including a mandatory-minimum five years for receiving child pornography. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15 by U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma.

Comments | More in General news, The Blotter | Topics: child pornography, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. District Court

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