BURTON — The Michigan State Police (MSP) Computer Crimes Unit, Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Northeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force recently announced the arrest of Gregory Allen Mead, age 46, of Burton, for the possession of child sexually abusive materials.
Mead was arrested following an investigation, in which digital evidence was seized from his home. The investigation was initiated when it was learned that Mead was trading child sexually abusive materials on the internet.
Following a forensic examination of the digital evidence, Mead was charged with the possession of child sexually abusive materials. Mead was arraigned in United States District Court, in Flint, on Nov. 7.
Detective Trooper David Vergison of MSP said the images depicted individuals that were obviously children engaged in nudity and sex acts.
“We’ll work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to confirm whether these individuals have been previously identified,” Vergison said. “The goal is that they are no longer being sexually exploited. If they have already been identified, hopefully some law enforcement agency has removed them from these situations. If not, hopefully they can be removed from the situations.”
Mead was found to be trading the materials using the Skype application.
“Although Skye is generally known for its video calling, it has a chat application with the ability to share files,” Vergison said.
Section 750.145c of the Michigan Penal Code states: A person who distributes, promotes or finances the distribution or promotion of, or receives for the purpose of distributing or promoting, or conspires, attempts, or prepares to distribute, receive, finance or promote any child sexually abusive material or child sexually abusive activity is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than seven years, or a fine of not more than $50,000, or both, if that person knows, has reason to know, or should reasonably be expected to know that the child is a child or that the child sexually abusive material includes a child or that the depiction constituting the child sexually abusive material appears to include a child, or that person has not taken reasonable precautions to determine the age of the child.
“We’ll be going through the court process with Mr. Meade,” Vergison said. “This type of behavior is obviously not going to be tolerated. The state police, as well as the FBI, are actively working to identify these individuals and take enforcement action.”
Vergison said the internet is available statewide and countywide, and anyone who has internet access has the ability to engage in this type of behavior. So, it is not confined to any specific region.
The MSP Computer Crimes Unit encourages parents to speak to their children about the safe use of the internet. There are many resources available to parents to assist in keeping children safe online. The NCMEC provides a comprehensive list of resources on their website at www.missingkids.org.
“Parents and children alike should be cautious about people the children communicate with on the internet,” Vergison said. “Children are susceptible to being exploited, and the internet just makes it easier.”
Anyone with information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, is asked to report it to the CyberTipLine at www.missingkids.org/cybertipline.