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Child Exploitation

South Florida man sentenced to prison for child pornography possession

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A 26-year-old Highlands County man was sentenced Monday to more than 15 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Timothy Ryan Schock, of Sebring, Fla., was sentenced Nov. 9 by U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore to 188 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Schock pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of child pornography.

The investigation began in April 2009, when ICE agents conducted an Internet investigation utilizing peer-to-peer software and obtained three video clips depicting minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The clips were later identified as being downloaded from Schock's personal computer.

On May 21, ICE agents, with the assistance of detectives from the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, executed a federal search warrant at Schock's home and seized his computer, hard drives and media. A subsequent ICE forensic analysis of Schock's computer confirmed the existence of child pornography.

On Oct. 15, ICE agents received the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Child Identification Report. The report identified 23 known victims from the seized images from Shock's computer that were submitted to NCMEC for review.

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 NCMEC, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com/.