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Child Exploitation

Schuylkill county man indicted for receiving and distributing child pornography

PHILADELPHIA - A Schuylkill County man was indicted last week by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography. Carl Benson, 53, of Auburn, Pa., was charged with committing the offense from 2005 through Nov. 3, 2009.

The grand jury indicted Benson on May 25 and he had an initial appearance and arraignment on the charge June 4. The charge against Benson resulted from an investigation led by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Benson will be detained in prison pending trial in the case Benson faces a mandatory minimum 15-year prison sentence and a possible maximum sentence of 40 years in prison if he is convicted of the charge.

ICE was assisted by the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through 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.