The sentencing was the result of an investigation conducted by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Springdale Police Department. William Cannon, 45, pleaded guilty on July 7 to two counts of production of child pornography and two counts of receipt of child pornography. Cannon admitted to producing two videos of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor female, downloading images of child pornography from the Internet, hanging images of nude children throughout his residence and displaying signs with messages threatening children in multiple rooms in his residence.
"HSI will aggressively use its investigative authorities to identify and arrest individuals who seek to sexually exploit children in this manner," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of HSI New Orleans. "HSI is committed to protecting our communities by bringing to justice these child predators, who are a direct threat to our youth. We will continue to aggressively investigate those who victimize children and work with our law enforcement partners at the Springdale Police Department and the U.S. Attorney's Office to protect our communities from sexual predators." Parmer oversees HSI activities for the states of Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge commented, "These crimes are reprehensible and horrendous. The defendant has been held accountable for them and sentenced to a lengthy term in prison. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who pose a threat to our children."
According to court documents, on July 14, 2010, officers from the Springdale Police Department responded to a call from a city fire marshal, who reported that he had discovered a child pornography operation while doing a routine fire inspection. Upon arrival, officers were told by the fire marshal that he discovered several nude to partially nude images of adolescent boys hanging from the walls, along with overtly sexual handmade signs. The subsequent police investigation resulted in the execution of a search warrant at the establishment. Pursuant to the search warrant, police seized computers, camera equipment, video cassettes, children's clothing, several toy dolls in various forms of bondage, and handmade signs depicting messages such as "boy sex," "kill little boys" and "I eat boys."
During a post-Miranda interview, the defendant stated that he was the only person who had access to this room and that he hung the nude/partially nude images of children in this room. Further, the defendant acknowledged filming and producing the videos found in the room, of a minor female engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted this case for the United States.
This investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children using the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or via its online tip form. 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.