GREENBELT, Md. – U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel sentenced Derrell Lamar Hooker Orange (“Orange”) age 37, of Brandywine, Maryland, today to 19 years in federal prison, followed by 12 years of supervised release, for enticement of a minor to produce child pornography and to possession of child pornography. Judge Hazel also ordered Orange to pay $15,000 in restitution to the victims of the offense. Orange has been detained since his guilty plea on May 13, 2022, after Judge Hazel determined that Orange was a danger to the community.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore; Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police and Sheriff Michelle Cook of the Clay County, Florida Sherriff’s Office.
“Parents should check their child’s smartphone and remind them that people may not be who they seem,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron. “This could save your child from becoming a victim. Many criminals, like Orange, take advantage of the anonymity of the internet to present themselves as something they’re not and use online messaging services to abuse children.”
“Derrell Lamar Hooker Orange’s crimes are inexcusable,” said Special Agent in Charge James C. Harris of HSI Baltimore. “He deceived and victimized three minors, and the cruelty of his actions was reflected in the severity of his prison sentence. Today he will begin to face the consequences of his crimes. HSI Baltimore is proud to have worked with our local law enforcement partners to bring Mr. Orange to justice. HSI Baltimore will continue to work to protect the law-abiding citizens of Maryland from notorious criminal elements like Mr. Orange.”
“The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is committed to doing everything in our power to combat child exploitation,” said Sheriff Michelle Cook. “I am grateful to the dedicated professionals and our law enforcement partners across the country for their tireless work to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these horrible crimes.”
According to his plea agreement, from at least July 2020 through October 2020, Orange, posing as a 16-year-old boy named “Lamar Thompson,” communicated with Victim 1, a 12-year-old girl living in Florida. Orange admitted that Victim 1 disclosed to him that she was in “junior high.” During their communications, Orange, using the Thompson persona, sent text messages requesting sexually explicit videos from Victim 1, including on August 29, 2020 and October 11, 2020, which Victim 1 then sent to Orange.
On March 16, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Orange’s residence and seized his iPad and iPhone. Forensic review of Orange’s devices revealed images and videos of child pornography, including sexually explicit videos of Victim 1.
As detailed in his plea agreement, Orange also communicated with three other minor victims, Victim 2, Victim 3, and Victim 4, through text messages and a secure communication application. As he did with Victim 1, Orange posed as a 16-year-old boy and requested sexually explicit images and videos from Victim 2, Victim 3, and Victim 4, which the victims sent to him. Based on the forensic analysis of his devices, Orange knew that Victims 3 and 4 were only 11 years old. In addition, on February 16, 2021, Orange sent text messages to Victim 2, who resided in Florida, indicating that he had traveled to her residence. The text messages included a screen shot of a Lyft route to the area of Victim 2’s residence, as well as a video of the apartment complex where Victim 2 lived at that time, with a text stating, “I’m outside.” Victim 2 did not meet Orange.
According to his plea agreement, Orange also participated in numerous chats using a cross-platform messaging service with enhanced encryption to transmit and receive material depicting minors, including prepubescent minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. For example, in a chat with another user of the messaging service in March 2021, the other user asked Orange to “Trade.” In response, Orange sent approximately 74 videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and received approximately 98 such videos.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorney’s 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab on the left of the page.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the HSI, the Maryland State Police, and the Clay County, Florida Sheriff’s Office for their work in the investigation and thanked the Prince George’s County Police Department for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leah Grossi and Jessica C. Collins, who prosecuted the case.