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Child Exploitation
01/31/2012

Kansas man pleads guilty to possessing more than a million child porn images

WICHITA, Kan. — A local man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to collecting more than a million images of child pornography. The guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Matthew Alter, 47, of Wichita, pleaded guilty Jan. 31 to one count of possessing child pornography. At the plea hearing, prosecutors told the court that Alter became the subject of an investigation after Italian State Police provided information that a computer user in Kansas was accessing a child pornography website.

HSI agents followed an electronic trail to Alter's Wichita home where they served a search warrant and seized computer hard drives. Computer forensic analysis discovered more than a million images of child pornography. The children photographed ranged from 1 to 12 years old. Investigators learned Alter had been collecting child pornography for 11 years.

Sentencing is set for April 16. Alter faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart, District of Kansas, is prosecuting the case.

This investigation is 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 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.