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Child Exploitation

Northern California man sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on child pornography charges

FRESNO, Calif. — A northern California man has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges arising from a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) that he received and shared child pornography.

Nicholas Gregory Halvorson, 31, formerly of Groveland, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. In addition to a prison term of 12 years and seven months, Halvorson will be subject to supervision for 15 years following his release.

According to court documents, between September 2006 and December 2007, Halvorson received and shared over the Internet more than 1,400 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was charged Nov. 4, 2010, and has been in federal custody since Jan. 13, 2011. Halvorson pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 17.

"Today's prison sentence is fitting for someone who robs children of their innocence and continues to sexually exploit them by producing and trading the illegal images with predators around the world," said Kim Wong, resident agent in charge of HSI Stockton. "Investigating this type of criminal activity is a priority for HSI and we will continue to dedicate our resources to bring to justice sexual predators who victimize children in this same manner."

This case was the result of an extensive investigation by HSI special agents in Stockton, Fresno, and Jackson, Miss., Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the case.

The charges stem from HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice effort launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section in the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the Project Safe Childhood coordinator.