United States Flag
Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security

Report Crimes: Email or Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE

Child Exploitation
06/06/2011

South Florida man sentenced to 30 years in prison for production of child porn

MIAMI – Robert Wesley Harden, 22, of Ft. Pierce, Fla., was sentenced on Monday to 30 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release for production of child pornography and sexually enticing minors, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Martin County Sheriff's Office (MCSO).

Harden was arrested on Dec. 9, 2010, on charges of production of child pornography, enticement of minors through the Internet, and receipt of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to the charge of production of child pornography in February. As a result of his guilty plea and his June 6 sentence, he will have to serve a mandatory minimum term of 15 years in prison as part of his 30 year sentence. In addition, Harden will be on supervised release for the rest of his life when released from prison and must register as a sex offender pursuant to federal law.

In October 2010, ICE HSI special agents in Ft. Pierce served a federal search warrant at 702 SW Watson Place, Port St. Lucie, Fla., encountering Robert Harden. He was interviewed and admitted observing child pornography using peer-to-peer applications, but claimed he deleted the files once he determined it was child pornography. Harden denied communicating through the Internet with any underage girls online. He gave agents two of his email addresses and identified his laptop computer in his bedroom, which ICE HSI special agents seized.

A computer forensic examination of Harden's laptop computer revealed chat files documenting text communications between Harden's screen name and a 15-year-old victim from Iowa. ICE HSI special agents also recovered data indicating that in September and October 2010, Harden repeatedly solicited the 15-year-old victim for sexually explicit images of herself and of her younger sister. In addition to the chats, the ICE HSI recovered sexually explicit images of the minor victims on Harden's computer.