PHILADELPHIA - Steven Tadlock, 45, was sentenced to 72 months in prison on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges Jan. 11. Tadlock distributed images over the Internet to other users and engaged in chats with other users about how to "groom" children for sexual activity. He also destroyed a computer external hard drive to obstruct the investigation.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with significant assistance from the Pennsylvania State Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Denise S. Wolf.
"Every time a sexually explicit image of a minor is produced, transmitted, or viewed, a child is victimized," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Philadelphia. "HSI will continue to pursue those individuals who exploit children, to include those who expect the shield of anonymity to protect them in cyberspace."
"With this sentence, another child predator has been taken off the streets," said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Zane David Memeger. "We will continue to work with our investigative partners to aggressively pursue those who exploit and harm children to serve their own purposes."
This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, 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.
For more information, visit www.ice.gov.