Cuyahoga County

Gregory Ross First Defendant Sentenced From Operation Rise and Shine

February 8, 2013

CLEVELAND- Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced that Gregory Ross, 49, of Parma, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $5,000 by Judge Nancy Margaret Russo after pleading guilty to 16 counts of Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor and 34 counts of Illegal Use of a Minor in Nudity-Oriented Material or Performance, all felonies of the second degree. He is the first defendant to be sentenced in Operation Rise and Shine.

Operation Rise and Shine targeted traders of child pornography across the State of Ohio. Using new technology, detectives identified IP addresses being used to trade and download child pornography pictures and videos. From March 2012 through October 2012, law enforcement officers from twenty-one law enforcement agencies executed thirty-one search warrants on homes in nineteen communities throughout Cuyahoga County. Officers seized 2,455 items such as computers, external hard drives, thumb drives, CDs, DVDs, and other electronic storage devices. This operation also resulted in seventy-six (76) additional cases being referred to fifty-seven (57) law enforcement agencies in Ohio and one law enforcement agency in Michigan.

Gregory Ross used a peer to peer file sharing network to download and share child pornography files over the internet. The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a search warrant and found numerous child pornography movies and images on Ross’ computer. The following law enforcement agencies assisted in Ross’s conviction: Cleveland Metroparks Rangers, Parma Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The Northeast Ohio ICAC Task Force was created in 2000 to combat the rise of Internet crime against children. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice provided additional funding for the Task Force to expand statewide. The Task Force now has 321 law enforcement partners across Ohio. Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty is the chair of the statewide Task Force.

Assistant County Prosecutor John C. Hanley prosecuted this case.

Contact: Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, (216) 698-2819, cell (216) 299-9326 or    

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