The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced they have now made arrests of both an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations Agent, and also a Border Patrol Agent in a widespread online child pornography ring takedown.
Federal authorities are left stunned that they're arresting two of their own for such a heinous crime, but at the same time, it shines a light on the corruption in government.
The federal investigation began with a dark web child porn site, in which Special Agents were able to infiltrate the site on what's commonly referred to as either Onion Router, or the TOR network, where countless thousands of computers are used like servers to relay information across the network.
Those familiar with the <i>darkest reaches of the internet</i> fully understand that while it's an extra layer of security for those wishing to remain anonymous, it's also where some of the most vile and despicable creatures known to man lurk such as drug dealers, human traffickers, child sex traffickers, black market organ dealers, arms dealers, illegal narcotics salesman, and the enormous amount of pedophiles engaged in the illicit distribution of prepubescent child pornography.
At a federal hearing, FBI Agent Larry Baker arrived to provide evidence and testimony in two individual cases against the former employees of both federal agencies, in what's undoubtedly going to bring about a complete revision of policies for both branches of the federal law enforcement agencies.
The first case involves 39-year-old Richard Nikolai Gratkowski, who was an Agent for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations branch.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency has refused to answer any questions about Gratkowski or his employment history or what particular types of cases he was involved with investigating for the government, only offering a short statement about the arrest.
“All Department of Homeland Security employees are held to the highest standards of behavior and ethics,” the agency said in a statement responding to questions about Gratkowski. “While ICE does not comment on personnel matters, the agency is fully cooperating with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) regarding this issue.”
Despite the lack of communication from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency, Special Agent Baker testified that Gratkowski has been employed with ICE since 2008.
Gratkowski was arrested in a secret takedown early in January, according to Special Agent Baker, after the ICE agency’s internal affairs branch and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigators referred him to the FBI in a direct response to the infiltration and raid of a dark web child pornography distribution ring which both of the Federal agents were tied to as suspects.
Special Agent Baker also stated that Gratkowski was focused on “Gang Investigations in the San Antonio area”, but declined to delve into those case. He added that ICE is going through the motions necessary to terminate Gratkowski effective immediately.
The second case, it was foretold to the courtroom that 34-year-old Border Patrol Agent Paul Casey Whipple was first brought under investigation after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was contacted by <i>”an unspecified law enforcement agency”</i> to report that illicit child pornography files known to their database had been shared from an IP address in Hondo, Texas.
<a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/14465-Disturbing-FBI-Charges-Border-Patrol-Agent-for-Producing-Child-Porn-Depicting-Rapes-of-Young-Girl">The Goldwater reported on this case </a>on December 21st of 2017. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children then contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who determined that videos being shared depicted a prepubescent minor female child, who was being sexually assaulted by adult men.
Upon obtaining a search warrant for the residence, they raided the home this past Tuesday where they recover multiple electronic devices found to be in possession of multiple folders containing graphic and sexually explicit rape videos of young children.
Once the FBI had detained Border Patrol Agent Whipple, he admitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that he had not only shared the explicit files but was responsible for the production of many of them.
Upon further examination of the images and videos found, FBI agents determined they were produced in Hondo, Texas between 2015 and November of this 2017.
While it remains unknown what exactly such an admission of producing the child pornography entails in Whipple confession; inside of the criminal complaint against Whipple, it not only has he admitted to producing the videos but also to share them on the internet.
The complaint also says he told the FBI he had "access" to a minor child on a number of occasions, and she is under the age of 18, which mean he was directly involved in the filming of the molestation and rapes of the young girl in the footage.
Absolutely disgusting, and if convicted Whipple could face fifteen to thirty years in a Federal Prison.
"The kids are bait, and it’s very lucrative and common that adults are seeing kids as sexual objects, and we just need to stop that because it’s not okay,” said Dottie Laster with the Heidi Search Center.
"Parents need to understand what access means. It means internet, phone, the third party introducing them, geography. All they need is access, people that will exploit children,” said Laster.
Both men were connected to a dark web child porn site that provides access to more than 117,000 graphics child porn videos, and it's listed in court documents that Whipple and Gratkowski were users of the site.
Whipple, as we now know, personally filmed the rapes of some of the children who are in video and in images.
Gratkowski, was merely a pedophile who used the website. Special Agent Baker said thay in Gratkowski’s case, he was tracked because he used his personal USAA bank account and his government ID in order to purchase BitCoin cryptocurrency.
He then used the BTC to open an account on the dark web child pornography site back in April of 2016, Baker said.
Later in 2017, Gratkowski established a second account on the dark web child porn site in which he used throughout the remainder of the year.
Upon examination of Gratkowski’s internet usage, it was determined that he also visited two additional child porn websites, both using TOR.
His mobile devices then revealed he used the messaging application “Kik Messenger” to get to another child porn site.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation first served a search warrant at Gratkowski’s home in early January.
During the execution of the search warrant, FBI Special Agents then recovered multiple hard drives, laptops, a computer, and two non-working iPhones.
None of those devices were found to have any child pornography, but they also recovered two working iPhones which had links to Child Pornography websites in them.
This prompted an interrogation of Gratkowski, in which he admitted to Special Agents that he had visited the child pornography dark websites, Baker said.
“He said that in April of 2016, he turned to child porn and turned to the site and two other child porn sites on the TOR network,” Baker said. “He advised he’d been in a dark place as a result of problems with his wife, work stressors and financial stressors. He went to the dark net to avoid detection”.
During Special Agent Baker’s testimony, he also said that Gratkowski had used an anti-forensics program to wipe child porn images from his computers prior to the search warrant execution.
Gratkowski also admitted to Special Agents during the interrogation that he had destroyed the computer he used to download child pornography back in mid-December and threw it in a trash receptacle which was located in his apartment complex.
The wife of Gratkowski left him several months ago due to his obsession with Child Pornography, and Baker testified that she “advised him there might be a chance of reconciliation and that the destruction of the computer was ‘symbolic’ of a fresh start between the two.”
FBI Agents have been unable to recover the computer which Gratkowski disposed of.
As an Army Veteran, Gratkowski was awarded a Bronze Star and was honorably discharged from service.
Since his discharge, he has been diagnosed with PTSD, according to testimony from his father, who lives in the state of Washington.
This vicious pedophile also has children of his own, although as mentioned he and his wife are currently separated.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Marina Thais Douenat is Gratkowski’s attorney, who at the hearing made an attempt to convince U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Chestney to release Gratkowski on bond with restrictions.
Doeunat claims that the FBI has no proof that what Gratkowsi allegedly downloaded was, in fact, child pornography, because no images were recovered on any devices outside of the links and the admission of guilt. She also claims adult women can be made to look like young teen girls and that Gratkowski’s interest isn't in children despite his admission during the interrogation, according to<a href="http://m.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Feds-investigate-child-porn-and-arrest-two-of-12495025.php#item-85307-tbla-9"> My San Antonio</a>.
Judge Chestney disagrees and says Gratkowski was fully aware of what he was viewing because of his purchase of CryptoCurrency in order to view the website.
“The website described was designed for child pornography,” Chestney said. “There’s not any other reason to go to that website. You can’t get there accidentally.”
Gratkowski now faces five to 20 years in a federal prison if he's convicted. Whipple faces 15 to 30 years in prison and honestly, that's not even close to enough time for Whipple who personally filmed the rapes of young children.
The world would be better off without both of these sick bastards in it, to be frank.
<strong><span style="color:red;">Tips? Info? Send me a message!</span></strong>
<i>Follow Me On Twitter:</i>