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August 14, 2019Chicago, IL, United StatesChild Exploitation

Chicago-area man sentenced to 25 years on child pornography charges

CHICAGO — A north suburban man was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison for distributing thousands of sexually explicit images and videos of children.

This sentence was announced by the following agency heads: U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr., Northern District of Illinois; Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Leo Lamont, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Resident Agency Great Lakes; and, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Wisconsin. The Skokie, Illinois, Police Department provided substantial assistance.

Ronald Feder, 32, of Skokie, Illinois, offered to give child pornography to an individual he met online in exchange for what Feder thought would be access to molest the individual’s nephew and niece.

During a December 2017 meeting in a coffee shop in Lincolnwood, Illinois, Feder handed the individual a flash drive containing approximately 453 videos and 7,932 images of child pornography.

Unbeknownst to Feder, the individual was an undercover law enforcement officer, and the nephew and niece did not exist.

Feder was arrested at the coffee shop and has remained in custody since.

The online communication and coffee shop meeting occurred while Feder was free on bond in connection with a previous child pornography charge.

Feder pleaded guilty earlier this year to child pornography charges in both cases.

U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly imposed a total sentence of 25 years in prison, to be followed by 25 years of supervised release.

In the first case against Feder, a grand jury in Chicago indicted him in 2016 for possessing a sexually explicit image of a minor under the age of twelve.

The conduct occurred while Feder was working as a civilian employee of the Armed Forces and living overseas.

Feder initially pleaded not guilty to that charge and was ordered released on bond in September 2016, with a condition of the release prohibiting him from accessing the internet.

Feder violated the bond condition when he went online and began communicating with the undercover officer.

Using the online aliases “Tom Bradly” and “Jack Wayne,” Feder engaged in online and telephone communications with the undercover officer prior to the meeting in the Lincolnwood, Illinois coffee shop.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Dixon and Jennifer Maguire represented the government.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.

Updated: 10/08/2020