GREENBELT, Md. (April 21, 2014) - William S. Gazafi, age 44, of Lusby, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to six counts of sexually exploiting a minor to produce child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Brigadier General Kevin J. Jacobsen, Commander Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
According to the indictment, court documents and statements made at his plea hearing, on August 15, 2013, Gazafi engaged in a chat on a website dedicated to incest discussions with an undercover officer. During the chat, Gazafi discussed his sexual interest in children and advised that he had been drugging and molesting several children, including an infant. During the chat, Gazafi sent seven images to the undercover officer, three of which were child pornography he stated he produced after drugging the child. Gazafi was subsequently identified and arrested. At the time of his arrest, Gazafi was carrying multiple digital media items. A forensic examination of those items and others seized from his residence revealed videos and images that Gazafi produced of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including one child as young as five months old. The images also depict children bound and handcuffed while sleeping. Gazafi is a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force working at Andrews Air Force Base.
Gazafi faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison on each of the six counts, followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for June 23, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. Gazafi remains detained.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the "resources" tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Calvert County States Attorneys Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas of the U.S. Justice Department, Criminal Division, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sullivan, who are prosecuting the case.
Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein
The United States Attorney's letter to the respective judge outling the guilty plea for William S. Gazafi. (Warning: Many will find parts of the letter which outlines some of the evidence against Gazafi disturbing.)