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July 31, 2015Columbus, OHUnited StatesChild Exploitation

Hilliard man sentenced to 216 months in prison for producing images of child pornography

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man who possessed close to 300 files of child pornography was sentenced to 18 years in prison Friday. The sentence follows an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in conjunction with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task (ICAC), which HSI is a member.

Jeremiah R. Malfroid, 34, of Hilliard, Ohio pleaded guilty to production of child pornography on April 2, 2015. He was charged by criminal complaint in October 2014 and absconded during the investigation. He turned himself in to local authorities in California in December 2014, after he was profiled on the ICE Operation Predator smartphone app. A user-generated Facebook post indicating Malfroid's fugitive status had been created the same month and shared nearly 200,000 times.

According to court documents, investigators with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force connected files containing child pornography to Malfroid's computer. While executing a search warrant and forensic examination of Malfroid's computer, investigators discovered 281 files of child pornography, 77 of which depicted children who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Numerous additional images on Malfroid's computer depicted Malfroid sexually abusing a female child. It was confirmed that Malfroid had access to the juvenile female between approximately 2007 and 2013, when the child was three to nine years old.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

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. 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-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

Updated: 11/18/2020