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Child Exploitation

Illinois man charged in Massachusetts with child exploitation

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A Montrose, Ill., man was charged Wednesday in federal court on 18 counts of child exploitation related charges in a case investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), FBI, Massachusetts State Police and Longmeadow Police Department.

James Waddell, 33, was charged in an indictment with 16 counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of inducing travel to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of online enticement.

The indictment, unsealed after Waddell's arrest, alleges that during 2009 and 2010, Waddell induced a female under the age of 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. It is also alleged that Waddell used a facility of interstate commerce to induce the minor, who was 15 years of age at the time, to have sex with him. The indictment alleges that Waddell induced the minor to travel from Massachusetts to Connecticut to engage in sex.

Waddell had his initial appearance on Tuesday in federal court in the Southern District of Illinois. If convicted of the charges, he faces up to life in federal prison to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz; Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Boston; Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston field office; Colonel Marian McGovern, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and Chief Robert Siano of the Longmeadow Police Department made the announcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex J. Grant of Ortiz' Springfield Branch Unit.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.

ICE HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity on 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.