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Child Exploitation
03/13/2009

ICE investigation leads to 27-month sentence for Florida bail bondsman in possession of child porn

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A local bail bondsman was sentenced Thursday for possession of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.

Vance Edmond LeSage, a 48-year-old male and Florida licensed bail bondsman, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison for possession of child pornography.

Agents from the ICE Cyber Crimes Center identified information indicating that LeSage subscribed to one or more child pornography websites.

On February 26, 2008, members of ICE and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Vice Unit (JSO) interviewed LeSage and he acknowledged that he subscribed to what he called "sweetheart stuff" websites.

Subsequently, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at LeSage's residence. They seized an iMac computer containing approximately 130 images of child pornography. Some of the images of child pornography portrayed sadistic conduct involving children.

"After a very long and thorough investigation and prosecution, it is always rewarding to see individuals getting locked up for such perverse crimes," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge for the ICE Office of Investigations in Tampa, Fla., which oversees the Jacksonville office. "However, without the excellent teamwork with all of our partner agencies, this successful outcome might not have been achieved."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,900 individuals.

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.

It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.