This conviction resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations (BCI), the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), and the Fargo, N.D., Police Department.
Robert Carey Evans, 58, of Waukesha, Wis., was convicted following a four day trial by a 12-person jury on 14 counts of possessing materials containing child pornography. The jury deliberated for three hours before returning its guilty verdicts.
This case came to the attention of law enforcement after a BCI special agent discovered two computers in North Dakota that were sharing child pornography via a peer-to-peer network.
An HSI special agent eventually traced the computers to Evans' residence in South Fargo. Evans was living and doing consultant work in Fargo at the time. A search warrant was issued for Evans' apartment where task force officers seized more than 13 hard drives and 43 DVDs. A subsequent forensic examination of this media revealed more than 22,000 images and videos depicting mostly young girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Sentencing for Evans has been set for Jan. 15 in Fargo.
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 1-866-347-2423 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, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.