PITTSBURGH - A resident of Dubois, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possessing child pornography on August 16. Richard W. Prew, 38, pleaded guilty to one count.
According to court records, Prew knowingly possessed pictures and videos in individual computer graphic files on Feb. 5, 2010 which were produced using minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The computer graphic files were shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Prew. Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
Prew is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 16, 2010, at 10 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Pending sentencing, the court continued Prew on bond.
The investigation that led to this case was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals through Operation Predator. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.