PEORIA, Ill. — A Tazewell County, Illinois man was sentenced Wednesday in federal court to more than 13 years in prison for receiving child pornography via Facebook.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Washington (Illinois) Police Department investigated the case.
In addition to the 160-month sentence, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm, Central District of Illinois, also ordered that Eric Ingram, 31, of Washington, Illinois, remain on supervised release for eight years following his release from incarceration.
Ingram will be required to register as a sex offender.
On Dec. 4, 2018, Ingram pleaded guilty to the charge.
According to court documents, on Oct. 4, 2018, law enforcement officers with ICE and Washington Police Department executed a search warrant at Ingram’s residence in Washington, Illinois and seized various items of electronic media.
According to court records, in September 2018, Facebook, Inc. notified Washington Police Department officials of messages between Ingram and a 15-year-old minor child that contained sexually explicit conduct.
Facebook provided information that Ingram appeared to be soliciting the content from the minor victim.
Furthermore, it appeared that Ingram lived in close proximity to the minor victim and had used Facebook Messenger to discuss meeting the minor in person.
The minor victim was interviewed and confirmed that Ingram requested she perform sexually explicit conduct and take visual depictions of that conduct to send to him on Facebook.
Ingram has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on these charges Oct. 4, 2018.
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 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 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. HSI is a founding member 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.