U.S.

Washington Man Linked to Secret Forest Treehouse Filled With Framed Child Porn Images Is Sentenced

Tree House, Snoqualmie National Forest
Daniel Mason Wood, 57, of Mill Creek, pleaded guilty on November 20 to one count of second-degree possession of child pornography and one count of second-degree attempted viewing of child pornography. King County Sheriff's Office

A man has been sentenced to nine months jail after being linked to a remote treehouse in Snoqualmie National Forest that contained framed child abuse images.

Daniel Wood, 57, of Mill Creek, pleaded guilty on November 20 to one count of second-degree possession of child pornography and one count of second-degree attempted viewing of child pornography. He was sentenced last Friday, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported yesterday.

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The sentence brought an end to a lengthy FBI investigation that started back in 2016, when an employee of the U.S. Department of Natural Resources located the building.

The staffer had heard rumors of the illegal treehouse from hikers, and decided to investigate. After five attempts, he finally found it on November 18, 2016. Inside, he discovered indecent images were framed and mounted onto the walls. He took some to the King County Sheriff's Office and a probe was launched two days later, the Snoqualmie Valley Record reported.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, King County detective Christopher Myers described the cabin as “an elaborate treehouse that resembled a fairy or gingerbread house.”

Police found images of "fairy-like" girls were screwed into the treehouse walls. An envelope held more explicit images, some fictional depictions and some real. According to the Seattle Times, the cabin contained a bed, clothing, food, candles and dishes. The FBI was then contacted. 

Some pictures were of “young girls naked or scantily-clothed,” charging documents said.

On April 7 last year, during an FBI-led search of the treehouse, an agent reportedly took DNA samples from some of the items. The Snoqualmie Valley Record reported evidence—including a vehicle license plate—was also obtained in an interview with a local rescue volunteer.

This led officials to Wood. Agents obtained more DNA evidence as he was under surveillance. The analysis results came back in October 2017, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

On February 12 this year, officials obtained evidence from Wood’s Mill Creek home.

An SD memory card was found to be hosting "thousands" of indecent images of children and some videos, court records obtained by Seattle Times revealed. Some of the images appeared to show the Snoqualmie National Forest cabin and its immediate surrounding area. 

Wood was charged by law enforcement on March 12 this year. On March 26, he pleaded not guilty to the allegations in the King County Superior Court. He had no previous criminal record.

National forest rules say online a permit is required before property can be built on the federally-owned land.

According to SFGate, citing sentencing documents, Wood struck a plea deal with prosecutors. As a result, one child pornography charge was reduced to attempted viewing of child pornography.

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