United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Child Exploitation
03/14/2013

Fresno-area sex offender indicted for sexual exploitation of a minor

FRESNO, Calif. — A previously convicted sex offender from the Fresno area who worked as a handyman was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for sexual exploitation of a minor and receiving or distributing material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Frank Charles Reddell, 38, of Madera, is charged in a three-count indictment stemming from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Madera County Sheriff's Department; the Madera Police Department; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Adult Parole Operations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.

According to the indictment, in May 2012 and again in November 2012, Reddell, a registered sex offender on GPS monitoring, knowingly used separate minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. The indictment alleges that from Feb. 23, 2011, through Dec. 26, 2012, Reddell received or shared child pornography over the Internet.

According to court documents, on Dec. 26, 2012, Reddell, who was on parole, was arrested by a parole agent who observed him sitting in his car in a parking lot viewing images of child pornography. When agents searched Reddell's computer and a computer thumb drive identified as his, they found numerous files containing child pornography. Data embedded in one photograph led to two homes in Madera where Reddell had worked as a handyman.

"This case is deeply disturbing in light of the defendant's ability to market himself as a handyman and gain access to homes where children reside," said Mike Prado, resident agent in charge of HSI Fresno. "Apprehending repeat sexual predators who continue to prey on local children in order to produce child pornography will always be a top priority for HSI. We will continue to direct all of our resources to bringing those who engage in the exploitation of innocent children to justice."

If convicted, Reddell faces a possible sentence of 25 to 50 years in prison for each production count, and 15 to 40 years in prison for the receipt and distribution count. According to the indictment, Reddell has a 2004 conviction in Tuolumne County Superior Court for lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Investigators are concerned there may be other unidentified victims in this case. They are asking for anyone who may have information related to the defendant or the case to contact ICE's toll-free tip line at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or use the agency's online tip form.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, and Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including Internet child pornographers. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the "resources" tab for information about Internet safety education.

As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.