FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A Port Saint Lucie, Fla., resident, 23, was charged with transporting child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) led investigation.
Jason David Bingham appeared in federal court April 24, for his initial appearance on charges of transporting child pornography and was detained without bond.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began on February 15, 2009, when officers from the German Federal Police (BKA) downloaded approximately 37 image files that included 24 images depicting minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. One of these images is of a child who appears to be well under the age of eight.
The BKA, with assistance of ICE Cyber Crimes Center (IC3), learned that Bingham's computer utilized an Internet Protocol address that was assigned to a residence located in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
On April 23, 2009, ICE special agents in Fort Pierce, with the assistance of detectives from the Port St. Lucie Police Department and Martin County Sheriff's Office, executed a federal search warrant at the defendant's home and seized computers, hard drives and media. Bingham admitted he downloaded and traded child pornography with others via the Internet and that he had images of children as young as infants engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
During a forensic preview by ICE's IC3 of a backup hard drive, which Bingham admitted to encrypting, agents observed Bingham's child pornography collection, consisting of numerous images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The total count of files on the drive was 577,943.
The ICE investigation and arrest was part of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ICE initiative known as Operation Predator. Operation Predator protects children from sexual predators, including those who travel across continents to have sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child traffickers. Since the initiative was launched in July 2003, there have been more than 11,900 individuals arrested nationwide.