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Child Exploitation

TOP STORY: ICE protects children, arrests criminals

ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) Awards Ceremony
NCMEC Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC
ICE Director Morton speaks at the NCMEC Awards
ICE Director Morton speaks at the NCMEC Awards
As the most vulnerable members of society, children deserve to be protected and allowed to grow in a safe environment. Unfortunately, there are criminals who try to exploit or harm them. Recently, two U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents were recognized for their work towards catching child predators at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. The ceremony honored law enforcement personnel who have demonstrated exceptional efforts in the recovery of missing children and the investigation of child sexual exploitation. Senior Special Agent (SSA) James Kilpatrick from the ICE HSI Pittsburgh office spearheaded Operation Goodbye and Special Agent Emily Arnold from the ICE HSI Philadelphia office helped take down child predator Kenneth Schneider.

"Awards are great, but it's rewarding in itself to catch child predators. Everyone at ICE knows that every time we put a predator in jail, it protects a child from being harmed in the future," said one of the honored agents.

Operation Goodbye

SSA Kilpatrick spearheaded Operation Goodbye, which sought individuals who created and distributed child pornography. Kilpatrick worked alongside agents and prosecutors in 10 different judicial districts. Together, they infiltrated a group that used asocial networking site to post and share images of children engaging in sexual acts. This infiltration eventually led to the discovery of an online forum, where child pornography was distributed. ICE agents identified approximately 50 individuals involved with sites. Twenty-three have been convicted.

Taking Down Kenneth Schneider

Special Agent Emily Arnold began investigating Kenneth Schneider in August 2008. Schneider was a U.S. citizen and international attorney who lived overseas for long periods of time. He served as the founder and president of the Apogee Foundation, an organization that sponsored children at fine arts schools throughout the world. Agents suspected that Schneider engaged in sexual acts with children. Their investigation helped identify a victim, a student sponsored by Schneider's organization.

Schneider was indicted in January 2010 for traveling to engage in sexual acts with a minor and transporting a minor for sexual acts. He was arrested in Cyprus in March 2010 and was convicted on both counts in October 2010. He is currently incarcerated and awaiting sentencing.

Learn more about ICE's efforts to combat child exploitation.