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Child Exploitation
01/06/2012

Minnesota man pleads guilty to sexually abusing 2 boys at US Air Force base in Okinawa

MINNEAPOLIS — A man from Cambridge, Minn., pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to sexually abusing two boys at a U.S. Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Air Force's (USAF) Office of Special Investigations (OSI).

In his plea before U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery, Joshua Gardner, 29, admitted that sometime between September 1997 and May 2002, he sexually abused two boys under the age of 12 on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. Kadena is a U.S. Air Force base under the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. At the time of the offenses, Gardner also resided in Okinawa.

Gardner faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court.

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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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.