Child predator sentenced to more than 22 years for sexually exploiting minor relative following HSI Galveston, local partner investigation | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

GALVESTON, Texas – An East Texas man was sentenced to more than 22 years in federal prison on July 11 for sexually exploiting a minor relative and multiple child pornography-related charges following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Galveston, the Pearland, Texas, Police Department and the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Luke Allen Gregory, a 55-year-old resident of Hitchcock, Texas, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to serve 270, 120, and 120 months for the production, possession and receipt of child pornography, respectively, as well as another 120 months for the transfer of obscene material to a minor. The sentences will run concurrently for a total of 270 months in prison. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Gregory pleaded guilty to the charges on July 7, 2022.

Gregory first came to the attention of law enforcement in October 2019 when Facebook reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that someone was utilizing their social media platform to entice a minor to produce and distribute files depicting child pornography. The subsequent investigation revealed that Gregory owned that account. On Oct. 10, 2019, law enforcement executed a federal search warrant at his residence in Hitchcock. Law enforcement seized his electronic devices, including his cellphone. Forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of multiple images of the minor in which her genitals were displayed in a lewd manner.

Gregory admitted he had been texting and engaging in sexual conversations with a minor female, whom he knew had just turned 16 years of age and was a relative. Gregory stated that the two of them had exchanged nude images of each other.

The victim also confirmed this to law enforcement, adding that Gregory had gotten her name tattooed on his right thigh.

During the hearing, the court heard how Gregory had manipulated the minor victim in this case by threatening to kill himself and his daughter when she had tried to end the relationship. He had also sent a photo with a gun to his head.

Gregory will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo is prosecuting the case.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate child exploitation in Southeast Texas, follow @HSIHouston.

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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