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The original item was published from 12/8/2016 10:24:51 AM to 12/23/2016 12:05:01 AM.

News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: December 8, 2016


Press Release the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of Washington


Spokane – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Hugh Allen Russell, age 31, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having previously pled guilty on September 15, 2016 to Receipt of Child Pornography. Senior United States District Court Judge Justin L. Quackenbush sentenced Russell to a fifteen-year term of imprisonment, to be followed a fifteen-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender upon release. Russell has a prior 2014 Washington State conviction for Possession of Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, and was registering as a sex offender at the time he committed the offense of Receipt of Child Pornography.

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Dropbox reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that someone had uploaded a video of child pornography to their Dropbox account. NCMEC referred the information to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Washington State. As a result, the Spokane Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation and ultimately searched Russell’s cellular phone, pursuant to a warrant, and located images of child pornography on the device.

Michael C. Ormsby stated, "Prosecuting offenders with prior child pornography convictions is a priority of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Washington. Cases of recidivists, like this one, will be prosecuted aggressively."

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the United States 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. The Project Safe Childhood Initiative (“PSC”) has five major components:

· Integrated federal, state, and local efforts to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases, and to

  identify and rescue children;

· Participation of PSC partners in coordinated national initiatives;

· Increased federal enforcement in child pornography and enticement cases;

· Training of federal, state, and local law enforcement agents; and

· Community awareness and educational programs.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Alison L. Gregoire, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Original Sheriff's Office Press Release 09/09/2015

Registered Sex Offender Charged 

Possessing/Dealing Child Pornography 

On September 8th, 2015, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Sexual Assault Unit Detective Damon Simmons charged 30-year-old Hugh A. Russell with possessing and dealing in child pornography. Russell is a registered sex offender after being convicted for possessing child pornography in 2014.

This investigation began at the end of August 2015, when Detective Simmons received a Cyber Crime “Tip” from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Detective Simmons began investigating the tip and soon developed information Russell may be involved with possessing and distributing depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Detective Simmons contacted Russell when he arrived at the Public Safety Building to comply with his weekly check-in as a transient registered sex offender. During a subsequent interview, Russell was shown the information Detective Simmons discovered during the investigation. Seeing this information, Russell admitted he used the internet to possess and share child pornography.

Detective Simmons arrested Russell and walked him to the Spokane County Jail where he was booked for Possession of Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct and Dealing in Depictions of a Minor Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct.

This investigation continues and additional charges are possible.

For more information regarding registered sex offenders in Spokane County including tips and alerts, please go to our OffenderWatch® page at

More information about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) can be found on their website at
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