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Child Exploitation

Chicago-area man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing child pornography

CHICAGO — A man formerly of a Chicago suburb was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography.

This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Brian Perron, 41, formerly of Wood Dale, Ill., pleaded guilty in April 2012 and admitted that he had sexually molested two children when he was babysitting when he was 19 years old. He faced the 10-year mandatory minimum sentence because of his previous 2006 state conviction for possessing child pornography. He was attempting to obtain additional child pornography depicting sexual abuse when he was arrested on the federal charges.

Perron, who has been in federal custody almost four years, was sentenced June 27 by U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman, to 121 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He must serve at least 85 percent of his federal sentence before he is eligible for release. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Perron was arrested in July 2009 after HSI agents executed a search warrant at his home and seized an external computer hard drive that contained 97 images and 21 videos depicting child pornography. The search and arrest stemmed from an HSI investigation of a commercial website that advertised and sold videos of children being forced to perform sexual acts with adults.

Perron "not only collected images and videos of child pornography, but he was attempting to purchase a membership to a child pornography library to obtain more material," the government argued in a sentencing memo.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony U. Iweagwu, Jr., Northern District of Illinois, prosecuted this case.

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.