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Child Exploitation

Indiana man indicted in nationwide investigation of internet child pornography trade

WASHINGTON — James W. Dotts Jr., 32, of Georgetown, Ind., has been indicted by a federal grand jury on receipt and possession of child pornography charges, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Timothy M. Morrison and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Resident Agent in Charge Daniel T. Dill of Indianapolis announced today. Dotts is the latest suspect to be charged in Operation Emissary, an ICE nationwide investigation targeting a Website that offered images and movies of hardcore child pornography.

A grand jury in the Southern District of Indiana returned the indictment against Dotts, unsealed today on his arrest, on Feb. 27, 2008. Dotts is charged with three counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. If convicted, Dotts faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years for each count of receiving child pornography and a maximum of 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 per count. An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Operation Emissary, which began in 2006, focused on a commercial Website offering access to videos and images of hardcore child pornography. The Website alerted would-be subscribers that subscribing to the Website was illegal and warned them to be discreet about their purchases. Investigators targeted individuals such as Dotts, who subscribed to the Website over a period of approximately two to three months at the end of 2005 and 2006. To date, more than 290 arrests have been made as part of the resulting nationwide sweep.

The arrest of Dotts was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been nearly 11,000 individuals arrested nationwide.

Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

The case against Dotts is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D. DeBrota of the Southern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Bonnie Kane of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. The investigation is being handled by ICE and the CEOS's High Tech Investigative Unit.