FRESNO, Calif. - A Lemoore, Calif., resident was sentenced Monday to 17 ½ years in federal prison on production of child pornography charges arising from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Lemoore Police Department.
Jess Tedder, 54, came under suspicion after ICE agents learned he purchased access to Web sites selling images of child pornography. When questioned, Tedder told investigators that viewing child pornography was "fun" and something he "enjoyed." While executing a search warrant at Tedder's home, agents found a compact disc containing sexually explicit images of a girl under two years of age. Tedder admitted the toddler was a relative, and that a second minor female assisted in producing the images of the toddler engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Tedder pleaded guilty October 1 and has been in custody since his arrest on that date. At the October hearing, Tedder admitted he produced the images in Kings County, Calif., in June 2007. The Kings County District Attorney's Office has filed additional charges against Tedder for committing lewd acts with a minor, and those charges remain pending.
Upon completion of his federal prison sentence, Tedder will be required to register as a sex offender and be on supervised release for the remainder of his life.
"Today's sentencing sends a strong message to anyone who would even consider exploiting children in this manner," said Brian Poulsen, resident agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Fresno. "People who create and possess child pornography are truly putting our children at risk - we're talking about images depicting the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in horrific ways. We will continue to work closely with our local law enforcement partners to seek justice for those who perpetrate these despicable crimes."
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. ICE's participation in the investigation is part of the agency's initiative known as Operation Predator, an ongoing enforcement effort targeting those who sexually exploit children. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals nationwide.
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.