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Child Exploitation
01/13/2011

Air Force sergeant sentenced to 72 months in prison for receipt of child pornography

WILMINGTON, Del. - Jamie Hall, 37, a tech sergeant stationed at Dover Air Force Base, was sentenced today to 72 months in prison for receipt of child pornography, in violation of federal law. Hall also was sentenced to 5 years of supervised release, which will commence following his prison term. He also will be required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction in which he lives, works or attends school. This prison sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"The defendant was bartering images of children being sexually abused with like-minded criminals on the Internet," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "People who trade these images are victimizing these children each time they share a photo or video and creating demand for more images of children being abused. Homeland Security Investigations is committed to breaking that vicious cycle, protecting children, and bringing those who abuse children to justice."

According to statements made at today's hearing and documents filed in court, Hall came to the attention of ICE HSI and the Delaware State Police in February 2010, after he engaged in online conversations with a New Hampshire detective who was posing as an 18-year-old male interested in trading child pornography.

Hall sent numerous images of child pornography to the undercover agent and posted additional images to a publicly available website. In online chats with the undercover agent, Hall also expressed interest in identifying a young teenage boy with whom he could engage in a sexual relationship.

At today's sentencing hearing, Hall's defense attorney argued that Hall downloaded and viewed child pornography only as a form of "therapy" for post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted from Hall's two tours of duty in the Iraq war. U.S. District Judge Leonard P. Stark noted that Hall also was distributing child pornography to other sex offenders and had engaged in online chats in which he discussed his interest in molesting a child. Judge Stark further concluded that the defense's argument did not support a lighter sentence and that even Hall's treating doctor recognized that Hall poses a danger to children.

Following the sentencing hearing, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware Charles M. Oberly, III, stated: "Those who prey on our children -- regardless of their station in life, standing in the community, job, or background -- will find themselves primary targets of law enforcement."

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Edward J. McAndrew.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.