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Child Exploitation

US Army officer arrested at Fort Drum on child pornography charges

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian, together with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Lev Kubiak and Brig. Gen. Colleen McGuire, the commanding general of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, announced the federal arrest Jan. 22 of a Ft. Drum officer on child pornography charges.

A federal criminal complaint unsealed charges Lt. Col. Christopher Butler, 43, with knowingly possessing child pornography. The complaint filed in U.S. District Court against Butler alleges that in October 2008, using the screen name “daddyformommies,” Butler sent images of child pornography via the Internet to an ICE undercover special agent. The complaint further alleges the investigation revealed that in February 2009, Butler was offering for sharing over the Internet four video files depicting known child pornography. The complaint further alleges that pursuant to a search warrant executed at his Ft. Drum residence in August 2009, forensic examination of computers seized revealed that Butler possessed, and accessed with intent to view, over 200 images depicting child pornography, including those that were sent to the undercover agent in 2008.

Butler was arrested and made his initial appearance Jan. 22 before U.S. magistrate judge David E. Peebles. He was released to the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office.

Butler faces a maximum penalty of 10 years, a fine of up to $250,000, and a required term of supervised release of at least five years and up to life. If convicted, Butler will also be required to register as a sex offender. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Butler's arrest is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command and the New York State Police. The charges against Butler are the result of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE initiative to identify, investigate, and arrest those who prey on children. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Butler is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Fletcher.