A former federal air marshal from Hicksville was sentenced Monday to 90 years in prison for sexually molesting three young boys, aged 11 to 13 years old, and photographing his actions.
Michael McGowan, 41, was already serving 20 years in federal prison for attempting to receive child pornography when he contacted a former victim, then 18, to recover and destroy a hard drive hidden in a wall in McGowan's Hicksville home.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons found out and investigators retrieved the hard drive, which they said had more than 1,000 images of child porn, as well as pictures of McGowan molesting the boys, officials said.
Some were taken in an otherwise unidentified hotel room, which McGowan had access to because of his air marshal job, officials said.
McGowan's sentence in federal court in Central Islip on charges of sexually exploiting children was among the longest recently handed down for child abuse in the Eastern District, said U.S. Attorney Allen Bode.
Before sentencing, McGowan told U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein, "My sincere regrets for everyone I hurt. . . . I take full responsibility for everything I did. . . . I wish to God that I could take it back."
McGowan's attorney, federal public defender Randi Chavis, asked for a sentence of 15 years, saying that her client was "remorseful," and a total of 35 years would be sufficient punishment.
But Bode, who heads the child abuse task force in the Eastern District, argued for a 90 years, saying McGowan was "the most dangerous and predatory child pornography offender I have prosecuted in 10 years."
Bode said McGowan even dated mothers to gain access to their young sons.
Eastern District United States Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement: "McGowan's effective life sentence will ensure that no other child faces abuse at his hands, and serves as a warning to those who would commit such crimes."