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October 28, 2014Columbus, OHUnited StatesChild Exploitation

Columbus-area fugitive added to ICE's Operation Predator smartphone app to locate at-large child sex predators

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Hilliard, Ohio, man who absconded during a federal child pornography probe is the latest fugitive to be profiled on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) smartphone app, seeking public tips on at-large and unknown child predator suspects.

Jeremiah Malfroid, 33, was charged by criminal complaint Oct. 20 for production, receipt, distribution and possession of child pornography. Following a search of Malfroid's former Columbus-area residence in connection with the probe, officers with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) found nearly 700 sexually explicit videos of minors on his laptop computer and other digital media.

According to the criminal complaint, in five of the images which depict a male sexually abusing a minor, Malfroid's face is visible.

Malfroid is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. Investigators indicated his last known whereabouts were Northern California.

Malfroid's mug shot, along with his biographical information, are now posted on ICE's Operation Predator App. The iOS version launched in September 2013. Earlier this month, ICE launched the Android version and Spanish versions for both operating systems. More than 124,000 users have downloaded the app across all platforms.

Tips from the public can be reported anonymously through the app, by phone or online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"This app significantly increases our eyes and ears on the ground. We're hoping featuring this fugitive on the Predator App will produce some valuable leads in this investigation and ultimately result in his capture," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge for HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. "Social media has proven to be an invaluable asset in HSI's efforts to identify and locate offenders in child sexual exploitation cases such as this one."

Within 36 hours of its launch last fall, the app helped Detroit HSI special agents apprehend a Michigan man, who was later convicted and sentenced on child pornography charges.

ICE's Operation Predator App allows users to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app allows users to view news about the arrest and prosecution of child predators and obtain information about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation. This year, the app was nominated as one of eight finalists for "Best App" in the PR News' 2014 Social Media Icon Awards.

HSI requests that anyone with information about Malfroid, or any of the other fugitives profiled on the app, contact the agency though the app; or by calling the HSI Tip Line, which is staffed 24-hours a day at 1-866-347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada, or 1-802-872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or by submitting an online tip form at www.ice.gov/tips/. Individuals should not attempt to apprehend the suspect personally.

The smartphone app is 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 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.

Updated: 01/19/2021