Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Security Guard Sentenced for Possessing Child Pornograpghy and Impersonating FBI Agent

DOUGLAS YUTAKA RHOADES, 43, of Jonesboro, Georgia, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr., to serve more than 5 years in prison on charges of possessing child pornography and falsely impersonating a federal agent.

"This defendant claimed to be an FBI agent who investigated child pornography cases, but in reality he was a security guard who collected child pornography," said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias. "Through his lie of being an FBI agent, he tried to trick others into entrusting the care of their young children to him. Today's sentence is a just outcome for a depraved man who tried to trade on the trust that the FBI has built with the American people. This sentence also underscores the harsh consequences for people who possess images of children being sexually exploited and thereby support the creation of child pornography."

RHOADES was sentenced to 5 years, 3 months in prison to be followed by supervised release for the rest of his life. RHOADES pleaded guilty to the charges on November 3, 2008.

According to United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: Beginning in January 2008, Clayton County Police were investigating allegations of child molestation involving RHOADES. Witnesses informed the police that RHOADES stated that he was a Special Agent of the FBI assigned to the cyber crime unit. According to one witness, RHOADES claimed to work on child pornography investigations. Clayton County Police then contacted the FBI, who checked their records and determined that RHOADES was not and had never been an FBI employee. When FBI agents arrested RHOADES pursuant to a federal arrest warrant, they found a fraudulent FBI badge and identification as well as numerous computer discs with handwritten labels suggesting that they contained child pornography. A federal judge issued a search warrant for RHOADES' home and vehicle, and agents found discs containing approximately 800 images of prepubescent girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, the FBI located a video of a "wedding" between RHOADES and a girl under the age of twelve along with written "wedding vows" between RHOADES and the child. At the time of his arrest, RHOADES was working as a security guard.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, the Attorney General launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney's Offices around the country, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Clayton County Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul Jones prosecuted the case.

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