TAMPA, Fla. - Christopher Allan Meixner, 43, of Pinellas County, Fla., was arrested Monday by the Florida Attorney General's CyberCrime Unit, with assistance by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, after investigators discovered he had multiple images of child pornography in his possession.
CyberCrime investigators located images of child pornography during a routine investigation and traced the images back to Meixner's computer. A search warrant was executed at his Seminole, Fla., home where one desktop, one laptop and a cell phone were seized. The items removed from the home will undergo forensic analysis to identify any additional images of child pornography.
An initial review of his computers revealed multiple images of child pornography including some of children as young as 3 years old.
"Each child depicted in child pornography images is an innocent victim of those who produce, possess, transport and share child pornography," said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Tampa. "ICE will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify child predators and bring them to justice."
Meixner will be booked into the Pinellas County Jail and will be charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony enhanced to a second-degree felony under the CyberCrimes Against Children Act of 2007. The agencies involved are members of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The 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.
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.