PHILADELPHIA – An Auburn, Pa. resident was sentenced to serve 15 years in federal prison on November 4 for downloading and distributing child pornography. Court records show Carl Benson, 53, was downloading and distributing child pornography from 2005 through November 3, 2009. Benson was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2010, as a result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The court also ordered that Benson serve a life term of supervised release following his prison sentence, and pays a $100 special assessment. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.
This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and 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.
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.