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Child Exploitation

Columbia county man sentenced to 6 years in prison for receiving child pornography over the Internet

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - On Thursday, Kenneth Mathew Tanzosh, 37, of Ft. White, Fla., was sentenced to six years in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release for receiving child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Tanzosh had pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography on Nov. 9, 2009, and has been in custody since Oct. 9, 2009. On Feb. 25, he was ordered to register as a sex offender at his sentencing.

The investigation began in late 2008, when law enforcement authorities in Germany, using an Internet file-sharing network from a particular Internet Protocol (IP) address in the United States, obtained a video containing child pornography. The German authorities sent information about the video to ICE for further investigation. Documents obtained from the Internet service provider revealed that the subscriber for the U.S. Internet protocol address from which the video had been obtained lived at a residence in Ft. White in Columbia County.

On Feb. 3, 2009, a federal search warrant was executed at Tanzosh's Ft. White residence. ICE special agents interviewed Tanzosh at the residence and he admitted, among other things, that he had had a curiosity about images of young children for about a year and that the youngest child he had viewed was about 10-years-old. ICE agents seized from the residence three computers, two digital cameras and 133 compact disks, all belonging to Tanzosh.

Tanzosh's computers revealed that two of the computers contained visual depictions of child pornography. ICE forensic analysis showed that Tanzosh, using one his computers and a file-sharing program over the Internet, had downloaded three child pornography videos within a 33-minute period on Feb. 1, 2009. The videos depict sadistic conduct involving the sexual abuse of a prepubescent female child. In total, Tanzosh's computer contained 13 videos and approximately 16 images of child pornography, together with four images of child erotica. On another of his computers, Tanzosh had possessed at least 65 images of child pornography and 10 images of child erotica, as well as 17 images of violent child pornography cartoons.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through 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.

This case was investigated by ICE's Office of Investigations in Jacksonville and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown.