A Bel Air area resident, who prosecutors say was once affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County and used the computer screen name "predatormike123," was sentenced last week to more than 13 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography and trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 9-year-old boy.
Mark Allen Heil, 42, was sentenced June 30 in federal court in Wilmington, Del., to serve 164 months in jail for attempted enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography. Heil was also ordered to serve 10 years supervised probation upon his release and register as a sex offender.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in February.
Heil had a long-time association with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County, according to Edward McAndrew with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware.
"He was fired in 2006 approximately one month after his now ex-wife went to Harford County reporting possession of child pornography," McAndrew said Thursday.
No charges of possession of child pornography are pending against Heil in Harford County, according to the Maryland online court database.
Heil served as the technical club director for the boys and girls club. In his role, he was very active with the club and participated in trips to other states, McAndrew said.
"He really had prolonged and substantial access to children," McAndrew said.
Indeed, a photograph taken by The Aegis at the Havre de Grace unit of the clubs in July 2002, shows Heil standing with several children and visiting dignitaries that included then Harford County Executive Jim Harkins, the late Harford School Superintendent Jacqueline Haas and then Havre de Grace mayor and current County Executive David Craig. The occasion was the opening of the club's new computer lab.
McAndrew explained that the previous complaint in Harford County came to the surface during the federal investigation.
The Delaware Child Predator Task Force launched an investigation of Heil in July 2010 when he contacted an undercover Delaware State Police detective in an Internet chat room dedicated to sexual activity with young boys, according to a news release from theU.S. Department of Justice.
The detective posed as the father of a 9-year-old whom the detective said was available for sex with adult men.
Between July and October 2010, Heil and the detective chatted several times online and spoke about Heil's interest in taking part in sexual acts with young boys.
Heil arranged to meet the detective at a restaurant in Newark, Del., in October to negotiate the terms of his sexual encounter with the fictitious boy. He was arrested outside the restaurant after the meeting and police officers searched his car.
Inside the car, agents found a laptop computer that housed more than 9,000 photographs and 100 movies of child pornography, most of which featured young boys involved in sexual activity with adult men.
The laptop also housed more than 500 transcripts of chats between Heil and other child sex offenders from the three months preceding his arrest, prosecutors said.
Heil used the screen name "predatormike1203" during the chats in which he exchanged child pornography with the other sex offenders and discussed interest in sex with young boys.
Some of those Heil chatted with claimed to be adults with custody of the children they were molesting.
According to the Delaware U.S. Attorney's Office, the case was investigated by the Delaware State Police and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations.
Maryland online court records show Heil did not have any serious prior involvement with the criminal justice system in the state.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun