Sean Walsh: Feds Send Him Child-Porn Catalog, He Orders, Is Busted

Categories: Crime

Beware the plain brown envelope.
Modern marketing involves aggressively targeting a potential customer and then quickly and efficiently fulfilling his needs.

And when you think of the words "efficiently" and "fulfilling his needs," you think of nothing else but the federal government, right? Right?

Okay, okay -- maybe the feds don't wow you with their customer service when it involves, say, dealing with your flooded house, or an income-tax refund or getting a bill through Congress.

When it comes to selling child porn, though, the feds are killing it. Just ask Sean Louis Walsh, 30, of Houston.

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Federal investigators identified Walsh as someone running "a 'nudist' Web site," the U.S. Attorney's Office says. That wasn't enough for the feds, so they took action:

On Sept. 16, 2011, inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) sent a mailing to Walsh at his home address in Houston. The mailing contained an undercover name and address and invited individuals to become a customer of the undercover company which was supposed to be a leader in taboo and forbidden videos.

There was an invitation to request a free catalog specific to the customer's desires and the flyer also had a checklist for the customer to note such desires.

A perfect melding of the modern (online identifying and targeting potential customers) and the quaint (who uses catalogs anymore except spice companies and Lands' End?).

Once entrapped ensnared by what USPS had delivered, no doubt in a plain brown wrapper, Walsh apparently discovered that someone knew just what he liked.

"In November 2011, inspectors received an order from Walsh for two DVDs in the mail, one of which was clearly described as containing child pornography, and a check for $50 in his name," the feds say.

You order something through the mail that is "clearly described as containing child pornography"? You, sir, are a trusting soul. Although the question of whether you actually have a soul is, we suppose, debatable.

There was no false advertising when it came to the DVD, either. Prosecutors say the video "depicted two prepubescent boys, approximately 9-10 years old and a pubescent female, approximately 11-12 years old engaging in oral sex and masturbation."

While this single arrest has a somewhat iffy entrapment smell to it, subsequent investigation showed Walsh wasn't someone who had never, ever dealt with child porn until that evil catalog arrived on his doorstep.

"A forensic exam was conducted on three computers found in Walsh's bedroom which yielded approximately 4,630 images and 322 videos of child pornography," the feds say. "Walsh was shown copies of the e-mails and correspondence and he acknowledged that he had sent or received the items."

Walsh, who had earlier entered a guilty plea, was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison, with 25 years of supervised release when he gets out. Under the terms of the supervised release, he will register as a sex offender and not be allowed access "to a computer or the Internet."

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United States Courthouse

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