January 15, 2009 in City

Spokane man convicted in child porn ring

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Handout photo photo

Warren Mumpower is one of 12 suspects arrested as part of a ring that distributed child pornography.
(Full-size photo)

A Spokane man, Warren King Mumpower, was among seven defendants just convicted in Florida of participating in a global child pornography enterprise – an Internet operation that used sophisticated encryption and pseudonyms to avoid detection.

Ultimately, an Australian constable infiltrated the group, triggering a world-wide investigation that involved the FBI.

Mumpower and the others were convicted of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy, advertising, transporting and receiving child pornography and obstruction of justice.

The charges were filed in the Northern District of Florida, and the six-day jury trial was held in Pensacola.

The 64-year-old Mumpower faces a minimum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced April 14 in Florida.

Mumpower was arrested Feb. 29 by FBI agents who searched his home at 1429 E. Courtland – one of six locations in Spokane where he lived after moving from Florida in the late 1980s.

A registered sex offender, Mumpower was convicted and served prison time in Florida for child molestation.

At the time of his arrest in Spokane, FBI agents seized Mumpower’s computer equipment. Forensic tests later confirmed his computer gear was used as part of the global trading of more than 400,000 images and videos of child sexual abuse.

During the U.S. District Court trial, more than 50 witnesses and 500 exhibits were presented to the jury.

Witnesses testified that Mumpower and the other defendants participated in a “well-organized criminal enterprise whose purpose was to proliferate child sex abuse images to its membership during a two-year period.”

Mumpower and the others used Internet newsgroups – large file-sharing networks – to traffic in illegal images and videos depicting prepubescent children, including toddlers, engaging in various sexual and sadistic acts.

The group used a complex system of pseudonyms, encrypted files and made new members takes screen tests in an attempt to avoid detection by law enforcement, witnesses testified.

Others convicted were: James Freeman, 48, of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; Gary Lakey, 55, of Anderson, Ind.; Marvin Lambert, 34, of Indianapolis; Neville McGarity, 41, Medina, Texas; Daniel Castleman, age unavailable, Lubbock, Texas, and Ronald White, 60, of Burlington, N.C.

Seven other defendants living in the United States previously pleaded guilty to offenses related to the child porn enterprise.

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