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Child Exploitation
01/18/2012

Massachusetts man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A Greenfield, Mass., man was convicted late yesterday in federal court of possession and receipt of child pornography. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Greenfield Police Department.

Louis Kevin Wieprecht, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of material involving the sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receiving such material.

In October 2010, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Wieprecht's residence, during which time they located, among other items, a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion desktop computer. During the execution of the search warrant, Wieprecht admitted that he used his computer to collect videos of child pornography over peer-to-peer file-sharing networks and that he permitted other peer-to-peer users access to his child pornography files. Wieprecht's computer was examined by law enforcement, and approximately 400 videos containing child pornography were found, some of which were received in August 2010. Many of the files were explicitly named and contained graphic depictions of very young children subjected to rape and sexual torture.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 13, 2012. Wieprecht faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the possession count, between five and 20 years on the receipt count and could receive a lifetime of supervised release following his prison sentence. He also faces a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of his computer media.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. ICE HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow.