FRESNO, Calif. - A Madera County man was arraigned in federal court Wednesday for distributing and possessing child pornography, the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the sheriff's offices of Madera and Fresno counties.
The two-count indictment alleges that Dennis Antieau, 69, of Coarsegold, Calif., used the Internet to send, receive, and possess images of child pornography between July and September of 2010. The distribution charge carries a mandatory prison term of between 5 and 20 years, while the possession charge has a maximum prison term of 10 years. Both offenses have a potential fine of $250,000, and a potential lifetime term of supervised release.
Antieau came under suspicion when an investigation by the Fresno Internet Crimes Against Children task force into the use of peer-to-peer file sharing technology indicated a computer at the defendant's residence was being used to receive and distribute child pornography. On Sept. 21, federal and local agents executed a state search warrant at Antieau's residence. A subsequent forensic analysis of Antieau's computer revealed more than 240 images and 37 video files depicting child pornography.
"Every time an image of child pornography is viewed, an innocent child is exploited," said Paul Leonardi, resident agent in charge of the ICE HSI Fresno. "We will continue to dedicate our resources to investigate those individuals who commit this type of crime and ensure they are brought to justice."
This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, and the San Joaquin Valley's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
As part of 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.
Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.