DALLAS — Daryl Glenn Pawlak, 39, of
Burleson, Texas, was sentenced this morning by U.S. District Judge Sidney A.
Fitzwater to 210 months in federal prison, followed by a 15-year term of
supervised release, for child pornography offenses. The announcement was
made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
A federal jury convicted Pawlak of one count
of receipt of child pornography and one count of access with intent to view
material containing child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.
Following the verdict, Judge Fitzwater remanded Pawlak into custody.
“Contrary to their innocent-sounding names, websites like Playpen facilitate
the sexual victimization of children with ruthless efficiency,” said U.S.
Attorney Parker. “Posts on these websites are frequently categorized within
forums and sub-forums according to the child’s age, gender, and type of sexual
abuse inflicted upon them. Targeting these websites and those who run and
use them is a critical part of protecting and rescuing these children.”
This case arose from an FBI undercover operation involving an illegal
member-only hidden-services website called Playpen. Playpen was dedicated
to the advertisement and distribution of child pornography.
was one of the individuals caught as a result of the FBI’s operation when he
logged onto the website in March 2015 and clicked on a post, which caused a
network investigative technique to be launched from the site onto his
computer. Pawlak registered with the Playpen site in September 2014 and
had spent approximately 14.6 hours logged into the website prior to the FBI’s
spoke with Pawlak as a part of its investigation. Pawlak confessed that
he had been using his work computers to look at child pornography. He
told the FBI that he began looking at child pornography sometime in 2012, he
used the Tor network to find child pornography, and estimated that he had
spent, on average, approximately half an hour a week seeking out child
pornography. Pawlak told the FBI that he preferred child pornography that
depicted girls between the ages of 7-11 years old.
result of the FBI’s operation, at least 350 U.S.-based individuals have been
prosecuted nationwide. At least 55 American children who were subjected
to sexual abuse have been successfully identified or rescued, including at
least four in the North Texas area. In addition, internationally, at
least 296 sexually abused children internationally have been successfully
identified or rescued as a result of the operation. This case was
prosecuted as a part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed
at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more
information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
The FBI investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Paul Yanowitch prosecuted.