According to court documents, the investigation began when the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received a tip that an Internet protocol (IP) address was engaged in a video chat depicting child pornography. Law enforcement officials determined the location of the IP address and interviewed Colby William Ochsenhirt, 35. During the interview, Ochsenhirt admitted he viewed the child pornography video. He did not know whether the video was a live stream, meaning he did not know if the child was being victimized at the time he viewed it. Ochsenhirt admitted he sought live stream videos of children being victimized and had been doing so for five to six months.
Law enforcement officials executed search warrants on computers and hard drives located at Ochsenhirt's home and place of employment. Forensic analysis revealed Ochsenhirt possessed more than 1,700 images and 240 videos containing child pornography.
"Possessing child pornography is not a victimless crime. It haunts the children depicted in it, who live daily with the knowledge that countless strangers use an image of their worst experiences for their own gratification," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of HSI Tampa. "Our local law enforcement partners play an essential role in helping us arrest and prosecute these child predators."
Ochsenhirt pleaded guilty to the charges May 29.
This investigation was 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 encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
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, 1-800-843-5678.
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.