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Child Exploitation
11/03/2008

North Dakota man sentenced 30 months for possessing child pornography

MINOT, N.D. - A local man was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Monday for possessing child pornography. The sentencing resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with assistance from state and local law enforcement agencies.

James A. Seibel, 52, of Ross, N.D., was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Daniel L. Hovland for possessing material which sexual exploited minors. Seibel was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $3,722 in restitution, and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Seibel pleaded guilty to the charge Aug.18. According to the plea agreement, Seibel possessed images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct in the seven weeks between July 14 and Sept. 3, 2007.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and Mountrail County Sheriff's Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter prosecuted the case.

This case was investigated as part of Operation Predator, a national ICE initiative that protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists, and other predatory criminals. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,500 child predators and sex offenders nationwide, including 35 in North Dakota.

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

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 www.cybertipline.com.

This case is also part of Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice initiative launched in February 2006 to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute those who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.