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Child Exploitation

Minnesota man sentenced to more than 7 years for receiving child pornography

MINNEAPOLIS — A southern Minnesota man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to seven years and one month in federal prison for receiving child pornography. The sentence resulted from an international investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Bundespolizei (BPOL), the German federal police.

Jesse Jeff Stewart, 33, of Albert Lea, Minn., was sentenced to 85 months in prison on one count of receiving child pornography. He was indicted Jan. 10 and pleaded guilty April 18.

In his plea agreement, Stewart admitted that on Oct. 8, 2007 he received, via a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, a video that contained images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Stewart admitted that on Dec. 2, 2009, he possessed at least 5,700 images and about 370 videos of child pornography. These items showed minors under the age of 12 in sadistic or masochistic conduct. On that date, authorities executed a search warrant at Stewart's residence, where the items were found on four computers and eight compact discs.

This case arose out of information provided by BPOL while it was investigating a computer network that featured child pornography. Upon finding that multiple Internet addresses in the United States had downloaded images of child pornography from the network it was investigating, BPOL contacted American authorities.

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