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Child Exploitation

Maryland man sentenced to more than 7 years for possessing and distributing child pornography

GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland man was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release, for possessing and distributing child pornography. The sentence is the result of an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

John Shutt, 65, of Bowie, Md., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. Judge Williams ordered that upon his release from prison, Shutt must also register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).

According to Shutt's plea agreement, on Feb. 7 and 8, 2010, an individual using a specific screen name, later identified as Shutt, distributed images depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct to an illegal website where users could distribute and download child pornography. Following his identification, a search warrant was executed at Shutt's residence on Sept. 17, 2010, and computers and other digital media were seized. Subsequent forensic examination of the computers and hard drives revealed 1,483 images and 32 videos of child pornography. During the search, Shutt admitted that he had downloaded and possessed child pornography for more than 15 years and also traded images with others he met online.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE 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.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney LisaMarie Freitas, assigned from the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.