Operation FLICKER 8

Operation FLICKER

The Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) assisted ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) with PROJECT FLICKER to identify and prosecute federal DOD employees using government computers to access child porn. Operation FALCON was a previous investigation. 

ICE is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it led the inquiry because child porn was downloaded from foreign websites, making it a matter of Customs jurisdiction. Tips were received from the (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children) NCMEC Cybertip Line. 

In April 2006 the ICE/Cyber Crimes Center/Child Exploitation Section (ICE/C3/CES) initiated an investigation into a “criminal organization operating a commercial child pornography website known as “Home Collection.” This organization operated approximately 18 commercial child porn websites. 

Assisting agencies included the US Postal Investigation Service, DOJ (Department of Justice), Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) and US Attorneys Offices (USAO) nationwide. 

More than 5,000 perpetrators ”who subscribed to predicated child pornography websites” were identified in the course of a national investigation, many of whom used their .mil email addresses to register or APO and FPO military zip codes. 

One contractor for NSA purchased approximately 21 subscriptions, “making him the largest buyer in Virginia.” A further 11 subscriptions were apparently purchased by other residents at his home. 

This illustrates another repeated pedophile pattern: they sometimes congregate, and they cluster, bonded by their shared perversions. Multiple examples are posted below. 

This NSA contractor explained that he spent “$50-$60 monthly on the various sexually explicit sites,” and “had an interest in child pornography for about 3 years prior to his interview.” 

He admitted that “there would be a mixture of pornography on the computer; there will be adult porn, child porn, and sexual activity with animals,” and said that “his wife had no knowledge of his pornography interests.” 

After indictment for attempted receipt of child porn and possession of child porn, this perpetrator “fled the US and was believed to be in Libya.” His case was closed pending arrest and extradition back to the US.  

Other federal employees exposed in Operation FLICKER included members of NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), NSA (National Security Agency), National Defense University (NDU), DCMA, local police, serving and retired military members, federal employees of other agencies (at least one CIA contractor was categorized as a civilian contract employee within the Office of the Secretary of Defense), government contractors (like Oracle, DynCorp, Lockheed Martin & MPRI, L-3 Communications and others).

Both males and females commit acts of pedophilia. In the case of Operation FLICKER, apparently all of them held security clearances, many Top Secret “or higher.” 

All of these cited examples accessed child porn and other forms of pornography using government computers and their home computers. 

Commercial child porn websites like crazy-lols.com, cyber-lolita.com, x-lolitas.com and topless-lolita.com were accessed. 

Interestingly, prosecution was defrayed in some cases because the subjects of the child porn in question were not registered as victims with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) Child Recognition and Identification System (CRIS).

“Routinely,” one case file states, “in order to criminally prosecute child pornography cases through the Federal system, individuals in the images must be identified as known victims.”

In this fashion, yet again, the margins of PedoGate as an epidemic are blurred, and the phenomenon is artificially contained. Investigators apparently must set limits somewhere, and the result is that many pedophiles consequently escape investigation and indictment because their misconduct falls outside the arbitrary limits set by such policies. 

Nowhere is there any concern for the fate of victims who may not yet be known. 

In one case, a DCMA employee admitted playing “online games” on his work computer for “an average of three hours a day.” While he admitted accessing porn websites during his work day, he denied ever downloading porn and denied ever attempting to view or possess child porn. 

The otherwise unidentified DCMA official indicated that he downloaded approximately 5,000 pornographic images onto a memory stick. When asked whether this memory stick contained child porn, he responded that “some of the images might “raise some eyebrows” and might be “questionable.”

He surrendered the memory stick for forensic analysis the next day. Out of 2701 files, none came up hot from the National Child Victim Identification Program (NCVIP) as a known child victim. 

The case report says, “A number of suspect images were identified that possibly depicted minors engaged in sexual posing and sexual acts. Analysis of the images indicated that the individuals were not pre-teen in age, but pubescent and developed females, some of whom might be teenagers.” 

The report continues, “On October 11, 2007 the US Attorney’s Office declined prosecution…for possession of child pornography. The declination was based upon an inability to determine the age or identity of the individuals indicated in the files, (his) statement that he did not intend to possess child pornography, (his) cooperation in the investigation, and the number and nature of the vast majority of the images which were not child pornography.”

Yes, this actually happened

This government employee completed a 30 day suspension for “extensive misuse of government time and resources.” DCMA attempted to recoup $20,000 from the employee through DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service), representing “the dollar value of the time (he) spent computer gaming during the workday,” but was unsuccessful

The case was closed. 

Another perpetrator, an employee of the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake, CA, was detected when he upgraded the hard drive on his computer at a repair store. The technician discovered “thousands of possible child pornography images and notified police.” Before the pedophile could be formally charged, he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Other cases were dismissed because “probable cause for search warrants was stale.” Yes, the term “stale” is apparently a thing in investigations. 

While using a .mil email address was “considered sufficient nexus to initiate an investigation,” in 13 cases no .mil email accounts were used, and the investigations were consequently closed, with no further judicial or administrative consequences. 

The apparent purpose, yet again, is to blur the margins of the pedophile epidemic, and to seek pretexts for closing investigations, containing the phenomenon. 

The report concludes that there were “no management control deficiencies identified during the course of this investigation.” Thank God for that. 

In one of the few named cases, a case where the name of the perpetrator was not redacted, Mr. Leland Chace Fitzpatrick was apprehended with 93 documents, 8,400 pictures, and 200 movies that were “evidence of the receipt of child pornography.”

Faces of pedophiles. They look like this. Mr. Leland Chace Fitzpatrick, registered sex offender. 

This was sufficient to charge Mr. Fitzpatrick with 1 count of receipt of child porn and 1 count of possession. One count each. One. Mr. Fitzpatrick pled guilty to receipt. The charge of possession was dismissed, with no further explanation. 

Cases like this one defy understanding. 

Mr. Fitzpatrick’s punishment was 60 months imprisonment, 60 months supervised release, and a $100 fine. The report does not say whether he was required to register as a sex offender, but he is currently registered. In most cases, prosecuted pedophiles are required to register as a sex offender. 

Everything else about Mr. Fitzpatrick is redacted, including his host agency and his employer. His Occupation, Telephone Number, Driver’s License Number and Issuing State: all other identifying information is marked “Unknown.”

The fishy investigation of Mr. Fitzpatrick was conducted by DCIS Arlington Resident Agency. Arlington. Make of that what you will. Arlington, it must be recalled, is where the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency is located. 

Another case where the perpetrator admitted to subscribing to approximately five websites that offered child porn was closed “Due to a lack of resources.” A lack of resources. But again, fortunately, “No management control deficiencies were identified during this investigation.”

In another case, a CD with materials from a child porn website called “Desired Angles” (sic) was checked with NCMEC and “several files that appeared to contain images of child victims law enforcement previously identified” were found on a computer. 

Incredibly, DCIS Arlington Resident Agency reviewed the images and determined that they were all in “free space.” In this case, “all images were carved from free space.” 

The AUSA in this case, Mr. Gerald Smagala, of the USAO for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), Alexandria Division, “declined prosecution,” as “items in “free space” do not constitute possession.”

This decision reeks, as multiple cases below are based on pedophile material detected in free space upon forensic examination. But not this case. Free space was the pretext used to dismiss this case. Again, Arlington DCIS acted to protect a pedophile in an apparent sensitive position in the US government. 

The report notes that no judicial or administrative actions will occur, and “No fraud vulnerabilities were identified during this investigation.” The investigation was closed as “declined.”

The absence of “fraud vulnerabilities” is a red flag in this case, as pedophilia is an act which leaves the perpetrator vulnerable to blackmail or extortion. In past years, homosexuality was a fraud vulnerability for security clearance reviewers, for example. 

Now that homosexuality is normalized, federal employees who are also gay are now considered to be immune from blackmail or extortion. The reason that I felt compelled to write this long piece in the first place was due to an article that attempts to normalize pedophilia. Go ahead. Click all the way back to the lead installment to remind yourself.

We are apparently living in times where efforts to normalize pedophilia, indeed, attempts to evoke sympathy for pedophiles, creep into dinosaur media reporting. We are already seeing the apparent early steps of such a campaign. But a campaign concocted by whom? 

Merely the existence of such a campaign is evocative and troubling. 

Continuing, an NRO contract employee admitted being “addicted to pornography” during his regularly scheduled security clearance renewal, stating that he finds child porn about twice a week by searching for terms such as “underage” or “underage model.” He pays subscriptions to view children in “nude or nearly nude photos and videos.” 

He was reported by his girlfriend, also an NRO employee, who discovered child porn on his computer. As he then apparently self-reported the matter to his Personnel Security Division (PSD), and confessed to “knowingly possessing the child pornography,” an internal decision was made to routinely address the issue at his next personnel security update. 

In the meantime, the NRO employee relocated to an NRO facility in New Mexico, and the case was referred to the DCIS South West Field Office (SWFO). I am not making this up. This was apparently all routine. 

Another named suspect was Mr. Kris A. Ledford, a Muskogee police officer in Oklahoma. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) was involved in his case as he allegedly “stole firearms from the Muskogee police evidence room, impersonated a Tulsa police officer and stole a police issued bullet proof vest from a co-worker.”

Mr. Kris A. Ledford, a convicted bent cop, is not an apparent pedophile, yet he appears in Operation FLICKER files. 

Mr. Ledford’s legal counsel also claimed in local media that he served in the US military as a sniper, and that he was a recipient of the Purple Heart (PH) and the Bronze Star (BS). He claimed to suffer from PTSD. 

The reporting agent interviewed someone with the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment. That someone remembered deploying to Bosnia with Mr. Ledford, but he did not receive either a PH or a BS, facts which were confirmed when records from the Veteran’s Administration (VA) were consulted. 

Mr. Ledford was charged with possession of a stolen firearm and Stolen Valor for “falsely representing himself, verbally and in writing,” as receiving the BS and the PH. Mr. Ledford pled guilty to both charges and was sentenced to 48 months imprisonment on the gun charge and to 12 months on Stolen Valor. He was fined $100 and $25. 

You are no doubt wondering why Mr. Ledford is included in this dispatch, when he is not listed as a registered sex offender nor was he prosecuted for sex crimes against minors. This installment addresses Operation FLICKER, and Mr. Ledford appears in the FLICKER case file. I see no explanation for that. 

There are many better cases. Another NSA contractor, Mr. Stanley P. Demoulin,  was sentenced to 63 months in prison, a $100 assessment, lifetime probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release. 

In another case, the German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) referred a case of child porn distribution using the file sharing system Gnutella. The German police analyzed child porn on the Gnutella network and identified one instance where an IP address belonging to the ATT network uploaded child porn. 

DCIS executed a search warrant on a GS-7 Army civilian and forensic examination of a computer revealed thumbnails of deleted videos depicting the sexual abuse of minor children. The suspect stated that he used Limewire to download videos, and then deleted them after watching them. 

The AUSA on the case declined prosecution. 

In January, 2011, CNN reported that more than 5,200 Pentagon employees purchased child pornography. After “a few” prosecutions, “investigations were halted due to a lack of resources while hundreds and possibly thousands of guilty officials got off the hook.” 

Also in 2011, The Boston Globe raised the issue again, and this time Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) became involved. 

The Globe reported that DOD checked only 3,500 out of the more than 5,200 cases. Some 302 federal employees were targeted, with only 70 eventually investigated, and “only a handful resulted in prosecutions.” 

Further in 2011, An AUSA (Assistant US Attorney) working directly beneath Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder was busted with child porn on his workplace computer. The Department of Justice (DOJ) declined to press charges. 

An Assistant US Attorney working directly for Attorney General Eric Holder. Caught en flagrante with child porn on his work computer. And the DOJ declined to press charges. 

Less than a month later, in August, 2011, AG Holder announced Operation DELGADO: this operation indicted 72 child porn aficionados, in a sting of a website with more than 600 users. 

Blogger Joseph Ciambra observed that patrons of the site were required to continually create and share images of child molestation in order to retain their access. 

In 2014, Gawker asked if 1,700 cases left un-investigated were ever completed. The Pentagon said that the investigation remained open. 

In 2015, the Department of Defense Inspector General (DODIG) refused a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from The Black Vault regarding the status of Operation FLICKER on the basis that the investigation remained open, among other reasons. 

As of August, 2016, the final disposition of Operation FLICKER remains unknown. 
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Links in order of precedence. 



























This is the 8th installment in a piece of longform journalism on the pedophilia epidemic. 

Read dispatches 1-7 and forthcoming segments at magickingdomdispatch.com, or on Medium: https://medium.com/@estebantrujillodegutierrez.

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