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Child Exploitation

Apopka man sentenced to more than 9 years on child pornography charges

ORLANDO, Fla. – An Apopka man was sentenced Thursday to nine years and seven months in federal prison for distributing and possessing child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Orlando.

James R. Wiese, 49, must also serve 10 years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence and must register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, HSI special agents learned that Wiese had traded child pornography with others via email. They executed a search warrant at Wiese's residence Feb. 25 and seized all of Wiese’s computer equipment. When confronted by HSI special agents, Wiese admitted that he collected child pornography images and videos and stored them on his computer for at least two years. During a forensic examination of Wiese’s computer equipment, HSI special agents found more than 3,800 images and 1,150 videos depicting child pornography. The images and videos involved prepubescent children.

"Child pornography, when it is released onto the Internet, lives on forever. It haunts the children depicted in it, who live daily with the knowledge that countless strangers use an image of their worst experiences for their own gratification," said Shane Folden, deputy special agent in charge of HSI Tampa, which oversees the agency’s Orlando office that conducted the investigation. "It is our duty as special agents to find and arrest these child predators and ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Wiese pleaded guilty on May 29.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Myrna Amelia Mesa.

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.