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Child Exploitation

US Virgin Islands man sentenced to 25 years for sexual exploitation of a minor

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A 22-year-old man was sentenced in federal court Thursday in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to 25 years in prison followed by a lifetime period of supervised release for production and distribution of child pornography, and for the sexual exploitation of a minor. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Akeem R. Gumbs, 22, was charged with five federal counts of producing child pornography involving a minor under the age of 18, possessing child pornography, and 24 local counts of aggravated rape in the first degree.

"The sexual exploitation of children is a despicable crime," said Angel Melendez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Working in conjunction with our state, local and federal law enforcement partners, we will continue aggressively pursuing those who victimize the most vulnerable segment of our society, our children."

According to counts one through six of the indictment, from about September 2009 to March 2011, Gumbs used a person under the age of 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.

The indictment further alleges in counts seven through 31, that from approximately September 2009 through March 2011, Gumbs did knowingly perpetrate acts of sexual intercourse and sodomy with a person under the age of 13.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.