COCOA BEACH, Fla. - A federal indictment was unsealed today, charging Eric Albert Seiden, 45, of Miami, with producing child pornography, transmitting obscene material to a minor, and using a facility of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in sex, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Brevard County Sheriff's office, as part of the Cocoa Beach Child Exploitation Task Force.
If convicted on all counts, Seiden faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Seiden that the United States intends to forfeit assets, which are alleged to be traceable to proceeds of the offense.
"Through partnerships like the one we have with the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, we will continue to vigorously investigate child exploitation cases," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Tampa, which oversees Cocoa Beach.
Seiden was arrested in Miami this morning by ICE agents from the offices of investigation in Cocoa Beach and Miami. He is expected to have his initial appearance in federal court in Miami later today and will eventually be transported to Orlando to face these charges.
"We are very proud of this successful partnership between ICE, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Office, which allows the agents to effectively investigate those who hide behind jurisdictional boundaries and the anonymity of cyberspace to prey upon our children," said Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker.
According to the indictment, on Feb. 1, 2009, Seiden transmitted an obscene picture to a minor and caused the minor to produce an image of child pornography culminating with Seiden traveling to Brevard County to engage in sexual acts with a minor.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through Operation Predator.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is 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.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlos Perez.