Before sentencing, Brandon Miller, 23, of Omaha, Neb., pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a child exploitation enterprise in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh. According to court documents and proceedings, Miller and others distributed images and videos of children being sexually abused to other members of an international group that had restricted membership and was formed on a social-networking website. Members of the group distributed to one another thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children, many of which graphically depicted prepubescent boys and infants being sexually abused and sometimes sodomized or subjected to bondage.
"HSI is committed to ensuring that child predators are brought to justice," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "HSI will continue to pursue those individuals who exploit children, to include those who expect the shield of anonymity to protect them in cyberspace."
Miller also received a lifetime of supervised release. Seven co-defendants have previously pleaded guilty as a result of this investigation. Six have been sentenced to prison and the seventh co-defendant is scheduled to be sentenced in May 2011.
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. 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.