In a disturbing case that highlights the dangers of online exploitation, a former teacher’s aide and youth hockey coach, Daniel Zachary Dasko, has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for distributing sexually explicit images of children. Dasko, who pled guilty to one count of Distribution of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, was found to have exchanged over 3,671 messages with a co-conspirator, discussing their attraction to young boys and actively participating in catfishing schemes. This shocking abuse of his position of trust has rightly drawn condemnation and underscores the urgent need to protect children from such predators.
The case revolves around Daniel Zachary Dasko, a former teacher’s aide and youth hockey coach from Carlsbad, California. Dasko was involved in distributing sexually explicit images of children.
Discovery of Dasko’s activities
Dasko’s distribution of explicit images of children was discovered during the course of another investigation into similar illicit activities. In July 2021, the FBI received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which led to the identification of Dasko as the subject of the investigation.
Methods used by Dasko and co-conspirators
Dasko and his co-conspirators used a social media application to engage in conversations about child pornography and to exchange explicit images and videos. They would bait minor victims into sending nude photos or engaging in live online activities that were then recorded and traded among the group.
Impact on victims
The distribution of explicit images involving a 13-year-old boy had severe psychological and emotional effects on the victims. Such exploitation can have long-lasting consequences on the victims’ well-being. Efforts are being made to support and protect the victims affected by Dasko’s activities.
Sentencing and Charges
Daniel Zachary Dasko was sentenced in federal court to 188 months in prison for his involvement in distributing sexually explicit images of children.
Length of sentence
The 188-month prison sentence reflects the seriousness of the crimes committed by Dasko.
Charges against Dasko
Dasko pleaded guilty to one count of Distribution of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, a federal offense.
The maximum penalty for this offense is twenty years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The prosecution team consisted of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mandy Griffith and Andrew Sherwood.
The case against Daniel Zachary Dasko involved a thorough legal process to ensure justice was served. It included the collection and presentation of evidence, witness testimonies, and the plea agreement entered by Dasko.
Role of evidence
Evidence played a crucial role in building a solid case against Dasko. It included conversations discussing child pornography, explicit images and videos, and the exchange of contact information for potential victims.
The defense arguments presented by Dasko’s legal team are unknown at this time.
Law Enforcement Investigation
Involvement of FBI
The FBI played a significant role in investigating Daniel Zachary Dasko’s activities. They received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which led to the identification of Dasko as a suspect.
Cyber tip from National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The FBI received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding a man uploading child pornography. This tip ultimately led to the discovery of Dasko’s involvement.
Execution of search warrant
Following the cyber tip, the FBI executed a search warrant at the residence of the suspect in Philadelphia. This search yielded evidence, including conversations and explicit images and videos involving children.
Recovery of evidence
The search of the suspect’s residence resulted in the recovery of evidence, including an iPhone containing conversations and explicit material related to child exploitation. This evidence played a vital role in linking Dasko to the distribution of sexually explicit images.
Dasko’s Role and Activities
Dasko’s position as a teacher’s aide and hockey coach
Daniel Zachary Dasko was employed as a teacher’s aide and youth hockey coach before his arrest. His position allowed him access to children and created opportunities for him to exploit vulnerable individuals.
Communications with co-conspirators
Dasko engaged in conversations with co-conspirators using a social media application. These conversations revolved around child pornography, explicit images, and videos. Dasko communicated with one of the co-conspirators using the name “Mr. Pickles.”
Exchange of explicit images and videos
Dasko exchanged explicit images and videos with his co-conspirators, depicting children being sexually abused. The exchange of such material perpetuated the exploitation of vulnerable minors.
Discussion of attraction to young boys
Conversations between Dasko and his co-conspirators included graphic discussions about their attraction to young boys. This disturbing topic highlights the predatory nature of their activities.
Involvement in catfishing
Dasko and his co-conspirators engaged in catfishing, a common internet scam targeting young people. They posed as someone else online to establish relationships with potential victims and exploit them further.
Impact on Victims
Distribution of explicit videos involving a 13-year-old boy
One of the victims affected by Dasko’s activities was a 13-year-old boy whose explicit videos were distributed. The dissemination of such material perpetuated the victimization of vulnerable minors.
Psychological and emotional effects on victims
The distribution of sexually explicit images can have severe psychological and emotional effects on victims, leading to trauma and long-lasting consequences. The impact on the victims involved in this case is significant and warrants support and protection.
Efforts to support and protect victims
Efforts are being made by authorities, law enforcement agencies, and victim support organizations to provide support and protection to the victims affected by Dasko’s activities. These efforts aim to minimize the long-term impact on the victims’ lives.
Statements from Authorities
Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Haden’s statement
Acting U.S. Attorney Andrew Haden described Dasko as a sexual predator who used his position as a teacher and coach to target and exploit children online. Haden emphasized the commitment to protecting children and holding offenders accountable for their actions.
FBI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy’s statement
FBI San Diego Special Agent in Charge Stacey Moy acknowledged the disturbing nature of crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Moy expressed pride in the work conducted by law enforcement agencies to bring criminals like Dasko to justice.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mandy Griffith and Andrew Sherwood
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mandy Griffith and Andrew Sherwood were responsible for prosecuting the case against Daniel Zachary Dasko. Their expertise and dedication contributed to the successful outcome of the trial.
Summary of Charges
Distribution of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct
Dasko pleaded guilty to one count of Distribution of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct, a federal offense. This charge highlights the severe nature of Dasko’s actions and their impact on vulnerable minors.
The maximum penalty for this offense is twenty years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The severity of this penalty reflects the gravity of the crimes committed by Dasko.
Defendant: Daniel Dasko
Daniel Zachary Dasko, aged 32, was the defendant in this case. He was a former teacher’s aide and youth hockey coach based in Carlsbad, California.
Location: Carlsbad, CA
The activities related to this case took place in Carlsbad, California, where Daniel Zachary Dasko was located.