ORLANDO, Fla. — An Idaho man pleaded guilty Friday to distributing child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Charles Keith Rolfe, 60, of Heyburn, Idaho, faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to 20 years in federal prison. He also faces a mandatory minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervision. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
"This plea emphasizes HSI's commitment to the detection and prosecution of those who exploit our children," said Susan L. McCormick, special agent in charge for HSI Tampa.
According to the plea agreement, on Feb. 28, Rolfe communicated via a mobile messaging app with an individual with whom he believed he had previously traded child pornography (Subject No. 1), The man had been previously arrested unbeknownst to Rofle.
Rofle was actually communicating with undercover HSI special agents, who had assumed Subject No. 1's online identity. Later that same day, Rolfe sent the undercover special agents at least three videos containing images of child pornography. During a subsequent search of Rolfe's home, agents found almost 900 images of child pornography stored on a cell phone.
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 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
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. 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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.