HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Bradford County resident was sentenced Wednesday to more than 12 years in prison for receiving and distributing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Christopher J. Stephani, 41, of Columbia Crossroads, Pa., used a computer to download and distribute more than 800 images and 35 movies of child pornography between 2008 and March 4, 2010.
The HSI investigation was conducted with the assistance of the Pennsylvania State Police Computer Crimes Unit Northeast Task Force and the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office.
"Today's sentence again demonstrates HSI's determination to stop child predators from doing further harm to our nation's children," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "Through our collective law enforcement work we're bringing these criminals to justice one-by-one and protecting the most vulnerable in society."
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik also ordered that Stephani be placed on supervised release for life following his prison sentence. Stephani was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and a $100 special assessment.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide 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-DHS-2ICE. 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.