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Child Exploitation

Connecticut man arrested on federal child pornography charge

HARTFORD, Conn. - David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Bruce M. Foucart, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for New England, announced that James Leonard Key, 38, of Atwoodville Road, Mansfield, Conn., was arrested by ICE HSI agents on a federal criminal complaint charging Key with possession of child pornography. The arrest is the result of an investigation by ICE HSI.

The complaint alleges that, in August 2009, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, which was subsequently identified as belonging to Key, accessed a web site in the Netherlands and downloaded at least one image of child pornography. On Oct. 19, 2010, ICE HSI agents seized two laptop computers and an external hard drive from Key's residence. Preliminary forensic examination of the computers and hard drive has revealed in excess of 100 images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Following his arrest this morning at his residence, Key appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford. Key was released on a bond in the amount of $100,000, which is co-signed by family members. He will be subject to electronic monitoring by the U.S. probation office while this matter is pending.

If convicted of the charge of possession of child pornography, Key faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This case is being investigated by ICE HSI in Hartford with the assistance of the European Law Enforcement Agency (EUROPOL) and the Dutch National Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Slater.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.