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Child Exploitation

US Virgin Islands man sentenced to 11 years for possession of child pornography

ST. CROIX, US Virgin Islands - A 65-year-old man who pleaded guilty for receiving and possessing child pornography in April 2007 was sentenced here today to 11 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

According to the indictment, John Waggoner, of Christiansted, St. Croix, possessed more than 100 images of child pornography and three videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The images included sexually explicit photographs of a 2-year-old relative of Waggoner who was left in his care.

ICE special agents found the videos as well as the other sexually explicit depictions of minors in Waggoner's computer after a forensic analysis. "Possesing, manufacturing and distributing child pornography is a very serious crime," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, acting special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "Predators should know that ICE, in partnership with other organizations, has the resources to identify child pornographers and those who hurt our children. Together, we will work tirelessly to bring predators to justice."

In addition to the 11-year prison sentence, the court ordered Waggoner to the following while on supervised release:

  • Participate in a program of treatment for sexual disorders.
  • Never to have unsupervised contact with a minor.
  • Register as a sex offender with the appropriate authorities of any state in which he resides, is employed or attends school.
  • Submit to the search of his person, vehicle, business, residence, property and any computer system by a law enforcement or probation officer.
  • Provide a DNA sample as directed by the probation officer.
  • Consent to the installation of any hardware and software on his computer to monitor his computer use.

The arrest of John Waggoner was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been nearly 11,000 individuals arrested nationwide.

Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity 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.