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Child Exploitation

Florida man charged with producing child pornography

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Central Florida man was charged Friday with producing sexually explicit images of minors and child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Brevard County Sheriff's Office.

According to court documents, Phillip Beyel, 27, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., allegedly had sexual intercourse with a child for a period of several months, while that child was 12 and 13 years old. During that time, Beyel used a cell phone to take videos of himself engaging in those sexual acts with the minor victim. He was arrested on Jan. 2 on state charges for lewd and lascivious conduct. A forensic examination of his cell phone revealed that he was producing child pornography with the minor victim.

He faces 15 to 30 years in federal prison for the federal child pornography charges.

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 and 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.