These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Carmel Police Department, the Fishers Police Department, and the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.
Daniel Alan Jines, 36, of Whitestown, Ind., was indicted March 20 on federal child pornography charges. These charges include 15 counts of producing child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography. Hogsett said the indictment comes as his office has launched Operation Community Watch, a new effort which aims to reduce the abuse of Hoosier children through new investigative techniques and aggressive prosecution.
"While there are real and serious threats facing our young people online, far too often the greatest danger to a child in this state comes from within their own neighborhood," said Hogsett. "That is why this office launched Operation Community Watch earlier this year – to aggressively combat the scourge of this type of behavior in Hoosier communities."
According to court documents unsealed March 20, Jines is alleged to have abused a 10- to 13-year-old child between May 2008 and May 2010. The indictment alleges that Jines persuaded, induced and coerced victim Jane Doe to engage in sexually explicit activity, which Jines then recorded. The indictment lists more than a dozen depictions of the victim that were allegedly located by investigators, including both still images and video files.
In addition, it is alleged that on Feb. 4, Jines was found by investigators to have received additional child pornography files, which were downloaded through the Internet.
These files also allegedly depict the abuse of children, including toddler victims. The indictment also charges Jines with possessing child pornography, including files that were allegedly discovered by law enforcement on a computer hard drive found in the defendant's home.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brant Cook, Southern District of Indiana, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Jines faces life imprisonment if he is found guilty of producing child pornography.
The receipt and possession counts both carry with them the possibility of up to 20 years in federal prison. In addition, Jines also could be sentenced to years of supervised release, and lifetime registration as a sexual predator.
Informations, indictments, and criminal complaints are only a charge and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative 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.