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June 30, 2021Chicago, IL, United StatesChild Exploitation

Illinois man sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for sharing child pornography

CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for sharing child pornography in an online chat room.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Angie Salazar, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Homeland Security Investigations. The U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service provided valuable assistance.

Benny l. Butler, 36, possessed more than 2,800 videos and more than 7,600 images of child pornography on multiple electronic devices. Butler in 2017 shared several videos and images with users of Chatstep, an anonymous online chat room service.

Butler pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of transportation of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood on Tuesday sentenced Butler to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, to be followed by 20 years of court-supervised release. Judge Wood also ordered Butler to pay $47,000 in restitution to the known victims depicted in the child pornography he shared.

“It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of defendant’s conduct and the need for just punishment,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley A. Chung argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum. “Defendant not only possessed a staggering amount of child pornography, but also distributed, downloaded, and traded child pornography with others online.”

HSI is a directorate of ICE, 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.

To report a crime, call 866-347-2423 (TTY for hearing impaired: 802-872-6196) or visit the ICE Tip Line.

Updated: 07/01/2021