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Child Exploitation

Former Louisiana soldier sentenced to 20 years for receiving child pornography

LAKE CHARLES, La. — A former Louisiana soldier was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Thursday after pleading guilty to receiving child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) along with Louisiana State Police and the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office.

Elliot R. Duke, 30, of Leesville, who was an active duty soldier assigned to Fort Polk at the time of his arrest, previously pleaded guilty Jan. 23 to receiving child pornography. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Patricia Minaldi sentenced Duke to a lifetime of supervised release following his release from prison.

"Child predators come from all walks of life, and parents everywhere must be vigilant because these threats aren't always easily seen," said HSI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Raymond R. Parmer Jr. "This case shows HSI is committed to investigating and seeking prosecution of dangerous criminals regardless of a person's position in society in order to protect our children."

Parmer oversees a five-state region including Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

According to court documents, after receiving information that child pornography was on Duke's computer, HSI searched Duke's residence May 14, 2013. The search revealed there was child pornography on his laptop, and upon further investigation, agents also discovered that Duke had been discussing and trading child pornography with other persons through email. A forensic examination of Duke's laptop was conducted and revealed approximately 168 videos and 187 still images of child pornography.

Assistant United States Attorney Daniel J. McCoy prosecuted the case on behalf of U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana Stephanie A. Finley.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.