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Child Exploitation

Arizona man sentenced to 11 years on child pornography charges

PHOENIX - A 61-year-old Rimrock, Ariz., man was sentenced Monday to 135 months in prison for possessing and transporting child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.

Richard Self was found guilty by a jury of three felony counts of transporting child pornography and three felony counts of possessing child pornography in November 2010. ICE HSI agents opened an investigation after they discovered Self had subscribed to an online service that sold child pornography images over the Internet.

In February 2010, search warrants were executed at Self's residence and on the semi-tractor trailer he was driving during an interstate trucking trip in Flagstaff, Ariz. His computer and several other pieces of electronic media were seized and a forensic examination revealed about 1,000 still images and videos of child pornography. The investigation also revealed Self had written and saved about 500 pages of stories fantasizing about sexually abusing children.

The charges against Self are the result of the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood (PSC) and ICE's Operation Predator, initiatives designed to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. PSC was launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to marshal federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, an ongoing ICE 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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.