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Child Exploitation
10/19/2009

Former State Attorney Investigator convicted of possessing child pornography

ORLANDO, Fla. - A former investigator for the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, Sean Peters, was found guilty of possession of child pornography after a four-day jury trial in the Middle Judicial District of Florida before U.S. District Judge John Antoon following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation

Following the Oct. 16 conviction, Judge Antoon ordered Peters to be remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshalls until his sentencing hearing on Jan. 15, 2010.

Peters was previously indicted on child pornography possession charges and arrested by ICE special agents in Orlando in May 2009. ICE special agents had obtained and executed a federal search warrant at Peters' Orlando residence and seized a computer and a CD from the residence. The computer was located in a downstairs office, and the CD was located in a DVD player in Peters' bedroom. ICE special agents conducted a forensic analysis on the computer and the CD, which showed that Peters had over 4,000 images of child pornography and erotica on his computer and the CD. At the time of the search warrant, Peters was employed as an investigator for the Florida State Attorney's Office, but subsequently resigned from the state attorney's office after the search warrant was executed at his residence.

ICE agents assigned to ICE's in the Orlando office obtained information concerning Peters from an ICE nationwide operation titled "Project Flicker." Project Flicker is an investigation that targeted suspicious PayPal account activity. Peters is one of numerous individuals who sent money to the suspicious PayPal accounts to pay for access to child pornography websites.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest aimed at 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 11,600 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/.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Ambrose prosecuted the case.