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Child Exploitation
01/15/2020

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Former Marin Boy Scout leader sentenced to 33 months in prison for possession of child pornography

SAN FRANCISCO – John Blecka was sentenced to 33 months in prison for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable William Alsup, U.S. District Court Judge.

Blecka, 65, of San Rafael, Calif., pleaded guilty to the charge October 1, 2019. In his plea agreement, Blecka admitted that in May 2019, he possessed more than 150 images and videos containing child pornography. At the time of the charged conduct, Blecka was a volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and had served in a local leadership position with the organization.

“Our HSI agents working child exploitation cases like this one have an unwavering dedication to bring these perpetrators to justice,” said SAC King. “Pursuing these child predators is difficult and our agents and professional staff are dedicated to ensuring serious consequences for these heinous crimes.”

A federal grand jury indicted Blecka on July 16, 2019, charging him with one count of possession of child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(4)(B) and (b)(2).

In addition to the term of imprisonment, Judge Alsup sentenced Blecka to a 10-year term of supervised release and also ordered him to pay $9,000 in restitution and to register as a sex offender. Judge Alsup ordered Blecka to begin serving his sentence April 30, 2020.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with the assistance of the San Rafael Police Department. Christina Liu and Ross Weingarten are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Margoth Turcios.

Targeting predators is a top priority for HSI. Nationally, in fiscal year (FY) 2019, HSI initiated 4,224 child exploitation cases resulting in 3,771 criminal arrests and identified or rescued 1,066 victims – an increase of nearly 18 percent over FY 2018.

HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and other international, federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For Internet safety information for educators, parents, and children alike, please visit https://www.ice.gov/topics/iGuardians to learn about HSI’s iGuardians program. 

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/16/2020