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Child Exploitation
06/23/2010

ICE investigation yields 72 month sentence for North Carolina man convicted for possessing child pornography

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Timothy Christenbury, 47, was sentenced today in Charlotte, N.C., to 72 months in prison and 10 years of supervised release for possessing child pornography, following an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Edward R. Ryan and ICE Assistant Special Agent in Charge for North Carolina Delbert Richburg.

Christenbury, of Charlotte, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney after pleading guilty on Feb. 18, 2009, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carl Horn III to one count of possession of child pornography.

Christenbury was identified through "Operation Joint Hammer," the U.S. component of an ongoing global enforcement operation targeting transnational rings of child pornographers. The operation has led to the arrest of more than 60 people in the United States involved in the trade of child pornography. Operation Joint Hammer was initiated through evidence developed by European law enforcement and shared with U.S. counterparts by Europol and Interpol. The European portion of this global enforcement effort, "Operation Koala," was launched after the discovery of the activities of several people in Europe who were abusing children and producing photographs of the abuse for commercial gain. Further investigation unveiled a number of online child pornography rings.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cortney Escaravage and Kimlani Ford of the Western District of North Carolina and Trial Attorney Alecia Riewerts Wolak of the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. The investigation was handled by ICE HSI special agents.