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Child Exploitation
11/18/2009

North Carolina man convicted of possession of child porn

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A 61-year-old man was convicted today by a federal jury in the Western District of North Carolina, Asheville Division, of possession and receipt of child pornography following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Postal Inspection Service, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and Henderson County Sheriff's Office investigation.

Albert Charles Burgess, of Henderson, N.C., was charged in March 2009 with possession and receipt of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

The charges represent the results of a local investigation which stemmed from Project Flicker, an international investigation into commercial child pornography Web sites.

According to the investigation and information offered during the trial, Burgess was suspected of paying money to join at least one of the Web sites. The evidence presented at trial showed that in March, 2008, law enforcement agencies executed a federal search warrant at Burgess' residence. At the time, he was a registered sex offender.

Agents found a computer and 327 CD's that contained images and videos depicting the sexual abuse of children as young as five years old. In total, 891 videos and 4735 images of child pornography were found in Burgess' home.

Further, according to trial evidence and testimony, Burgess admitted to sending money overseas in order to receive child pornography over the Internet. Agents testified that Burgess stated that he viewed child pornography on a daily basis.

Burgess has been in federal custody since April 16, 2009, and will remain in federal custody pending sentencing. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 40 years in prison.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Cortney Escaravage and Kimlani M. Ford.

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.