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Child Exploitation

West Virginia man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

MARTINSBURG, W. Va. – A West Virginia man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge of possession of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

According to court documents, Larry Bean, 66, of Gerrardstown, W. Va., pleaded guilty to possession of more than 17,000 images of child pornography found on a laptop computer, media and floppy discs and a cell phone seized from his residence in April 2011.

Bean, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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.

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.