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Child Exploitation
12/04/2009

Florida high school teacher arrested for possessing child pornography

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida high school teacher was arrested Thursday on child pornography possession charges following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Aaron Brian Sands, 41, of Brandon, Fla., was arrested by ICE special agents on Dec. 3 on a criminal complaint charging him with possessing child pornography. He was a local high school teacher at King High School.

ICE special agents allegedly found child pornography after they executed a search warrant at Sands' Brandon home.

If convicted, Sands faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

This investigation 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 almost 12,000 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/.

This case was investigated by ICE's Office of Investigations in Tampa. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda C. Kaiser prosecuted this case.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.