SEYMOUR, Ind. — An Indiana man was sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison for distributing child pornography. This lengthy sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Scott L. Divine, 34, of Seymour, Indiana, pleaded guilty June 4 to one count of distributing child pornography through email and was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison.
"Protecting the most innocent Hoosier victims is a top priority of this office," said Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. "Those who question my sincerity will be shown the seriousness of this promise."
In February 2013 HSI special agents arrested an Internet user believed to be trafficking child pornography. This arrest led to a string of other Internet users to whom emails containing explicit materials were sent. In January, investigators executed search warrants at a Seymour residence where they believed a distributor of child pornography resided.
During the search, Divine was identified as a receiver of explicit emails as well as a distributor. Divine made a statement admitting his involvement in receiving and distributing child pornography. He admitted he was familiar with the files found in his emails and knew them to be images he had sent and received.
While speaking with investigators Divine admitted to viewing and sending child pornography for multiple years. He further stated he had a sexual interest in children, particularly minor females. Most of the files found in Divine's emails depicted explicit sexual acts by adult men with minor females.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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.
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.