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Child Exploitation

ICE agents arrest Putnam County attorney for possessing child pornography

NEW YORK - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested a Putnam County attorney for allegedly receiving more than 40 images containing child pornography.

Robert Groezinger, 52 years-old from Patterson, New York faces charges for receipt and possession of child pornography under Title 18 United States Code (USC) Section 2252(a). The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York assisted in the investigation and is prosecuting the case.

A search warrant revealed explicit images of child pornography on Groezinger's laptop computer and thumb drive. An ICE investigation found that from at least December 2007, to in or about January 2008 Groezinger solicited and received through emails and online chats, computer files containing images of child pornography from a person in California who facilitated the receipt and distribution of images.

"The exploitation of children is despicable, and we will go the extra mile to catch those individuals who prey on innocent victims," said Peter J. Smith, special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigation in New York. "Some predators mistakenly believe they can hide behind a computer screen and keyboard, but I can assure the public that we have computer savvy special agents with the expertise and technology to find them and bring them to justice."

Groezinger appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Lisa Margaret Smith in White Plains federal court. He was released on a $100,000 personal bond. Judge Smith set a preliminary hearing for November 12, 2008. If convicted, Groezinger faces a minimum sentence of 5 years' imprisonment and a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment for receiving child pornography via the internet and a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment for possessing child pornography.

The arrest of Robert Groezinger was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been more than 11,500 individuals arrested nationwide.

Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.