WASHINGTON—Peter Zagorski, 31, of Malvern, Pennsylvania, pled guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr. announced.
Joining U.S. Attorney Machen in the announcement were Zane David Memeger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; George C. Venizelos, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Field Division; and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Zagorski appeared today before the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins. He faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 20 years, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for August 20, 2012.
According to a factual proffer of evidence presented during today’s court proceeding, on October 24, 2011, an MPD member of the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force who was operating undercover as part of the investigation, communicated with Zagorski by instant messenger. During the course of the communications, Zagorski expressed interest in meeting an underaged girl and engaging in sexual contact with the child. Also during the course of the communications, Zagorski sent the undercover six videos of child pornography.
During communications over the next several weeks, Zagorski further expressed interest in watching the undercover performing sex acts with the underaged girl via web camera over the Internet.
Law enforcement obtained an arrest warrant for Zagorski and a search warrant for his residence in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Zagorski was arrested on November 18, 2011. A forensic analysis of computer equipment inside Zagorski’s residence confirmed that Zagorski also possessed nearly 60 videos and over 10 images of child pornography.
Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, U.S. Attorney Memeger, Assistant Director McJunkin, Special Agent in Charge Venizelos, and Chief Lanier commended the work of all who participated in the investigation. They especially acknowledged the efforts of the MPD detectives and special agents of the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. They also cited the exemplary work of Criminal Investigator John Marsh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Finally, they commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys Denise S. Wolf and Michael L. Levy from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Kent, from the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting this case.