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August 4, 2021Frankfort, KY, United StatesChild Exploitation

ICE HSI investigation results in 15-year prison sentence for child exploitation

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Bedford, Kentucky, man who admitted to sending multiple explicit videos and images of minors to at least two different recipients via Facebook Messenger will serve 180 months in federal prison.

“Each year, millions of children become victims of online sexual predators,” said Jerry C. Templet, Jr, special agent in charge of HSI Nashville. “HSI agents, working with their law enforcement partners, make it a priority to protect vulnerable children by ensuring these perpetrators are punished for their heinous crimes.”

The HSI special agent in charge and acting U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Kentucky made the announcement on Tuesday.

The investigation was conducted by HSI and Kentucky State Police.

Leonard J. Andrew, Jr., 36, of Bedford, Kentucky, pleaded guilty in November 2020 to the distribution of child pornography.

The videos and images sent by Andrew contained images of minors engaged in sexual activity and were sent to recipients outside of Kentucky.

Under federal law, Andrew must serve 85% of his prison sentences. He will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 25 years, following his release.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 08/05/2021