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Child Exploitation
06/06/2008

Iowa man sentenced to 26 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes

DES MOINES, Iowa — A local man was sentenced here Friday to more than 26 years in federal prison for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography.  The conviction and this sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Jeffrey Allen Wallenfang, 45, of Ankeny, Iowa, was sentenced to 320 months in prison June 6.  There is no parole in the federal prison system.  U.S. District Court Judge James E. Gritzner also ordered Wallenfang to serve a 10-year term of supervised release upon his release from prison.

A federal jury found Wallenfang guilty March 7 of producing, distributing and possessing child pornography.  The case arose from a search warrant executed by ICE at Wallenfang’s residence in January 2006.  During the trial the jury heard evidence that Wallenfang took sexually explicit photographs of a 6-year-old victim, saved them on his computer, and distributed those photographs to other sexual predators via the Internet.

“The public can rest a little easier knowing this predator will be behind bars for decades,” said Estela Biesemeyer, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Des Moines.  “ICE will relentlessly pursue those who prey on the most vulnerable members of society — our children.  We have a strong track record of working with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring such criminals to justice.”

This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Iowa.  ICE investigated the case based on a lead from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). 

Wallenfang was arrested as part of Operation Predator, a national ICE initiative that protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists, and other predatory criminals.  Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 child predators and sex offenders nationwide, including more than 130 in Iowa.  For more information about Operation Predator, visit www.ice.gov.

ICE encourages the public to report 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 also be reported to NCMEC, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or Cyber Tipline.