A Canadian Internet child pornography sting has landed a local YMCA employee behind bars on distribution and attempted distribution of child pornography charges, according to federal authorities.
Daniel Quail, of Sam Houston Circle in Gallatin who worked with students regularly after school, was arrested Tuesday following an investigation spurred when Canadian police traced a child porn suspect's IP address to Middle Tennessee.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said they were contacted in early December by members of the Toronto Police Service after the Canadian agency arrested an individual who was using a peer-to-peer program to traffic child pornography, according to an affidavit filed by Special Agent Jonathan Hendrix.
Following the arrest, police logged into the individual's account and established contact with a suspect who was later identified as Quail.
On Dec. 15, Canadian police downloaded 25 images from Quail's shared directories, including “images of young males who appear to be under the age of 12 engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to the affidavit.
The defendant's directories included folders titled, “My Pictures” which “contained numerous child pornography images,” “New Folder & Vids,” which contained “numerous video files, many of which were titled in such a way as to suggest that they contained child pornography,” and “Other,” which contained “numerous documents, some of which were titled in such as way as to suggest they contained stories about child abuse,” the filing says.
Another folder that contained a first name in the title was password protected. After establishing an Internet chat with the suspect, police attempted to get the password for that folder because they were “concerned the suspect might have access to a male under the age of 18, and that there are images and/or video of this minor male in that folder.” Detectives never gained access to the folder.
According to the affidavit, Tennessee Department of Labor documents showed Quail, who is in his early 30s, works for the Middle Tennessee YMCA as a site manager for after-school programs in Sumner County.
The police filing also quotes heavily from what is allegedly Quail's Facebook page, where the defendant lists his employer as “IT'S FUN TO STAY AT THE . . . !!!,” perhaps a reference to 1978 Village People song, “Y.M.C.A”
In the job description category, the user states “I work at the 'you know what' of Middle TN. We have the second-largest school age childcare programs service of any 'you know what' in the country. I oversee before/after school programs.”
According to Jessica Fain, the director of communications at the YMCA, the organization first learned of Quail’s arrest yesterday. The authorities have given no indication that any of the children Quail worked with were involved in his illegal activities, she said.
Nonetheless, the YMCA has suspended Quail's employment, and has already started contacting parents.
“The safety of our children is our first priority, and out of an abundance of caution, we are currently contacting all of our parents via phone, email and mail to notify them of Mr. Quail’s arrest and to encourage them to talk with their children and share with us any questions or concerns that might arise,” Fain told The City Paper in an e-mail.
The affidavit states Quail listed himself as 'single' on records and that there is “no indication that anyone else” lived at the Sam Houston Circle address. Quail reportedly moved to Gallatin from Hartsville, Tenn., in early November. The affidavit says he previously lived in “numerous places in Florida.”
Quail made his first appearance in court Wednesday afternoon. He is scheduled to appear again on Jan. 6 for a preliminary hearing.
Quail worked with the YMCA’s after school program, Fun Company, at Indian Lake Elementary in Hendersonville. He began working at the site in January 2009, did not work in the summer, and returned to the program in the fall.
Both the YMCA and the Department of Human Services conducted background checks on Quail before he was hired. The checks came back clean, Fain said.