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Child Exploitation

Indiana man sentenced to 16 years for child pornography

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A local man who took nude photos and videos of an 11-year-old girl was sentenced on Friday to 16 years in federal prison for producing child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Danny Shelton, 57, formerly of Greensburg, Ind., was sentenced Feb. 19 to 192 months in prison without parole after he pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. During the court hearing, U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence, Southern District of Indiana, further ordered Shelton to serve a lifetime term of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence. During his supervised release he is prohibited from obtaining a computer without permission and must submit to search and seizure. Shelton was also fined $500.

According to court documents, on April 8, 2008, Shelton took his computer to an Indiana office supply store for repairs. The computer technician encountered a video file of a nude girl. A state search warrant was obtained and the computer was searched.

Further investigation determined that Shelton had photographed an 11-year-old girl on separate occasions in 2007 in another state where he lived before moving to Greensburg. Shelton transported the images of the girl to Indiana on his computer.

ICE was assisted in the investigation by the Greensburg Police Department, the Decatur County Prosecutor's Office, and the Indiana State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gayle L. Helart and A. Brant Cook, Southern District of Indiana, prosecuted the case.

"Anyone who produces child pornography victimizes the most vulnerable members of our society," said Daniel Dill, resident agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Indianapolis. "ICE relentlessly pursues predators that sexually abuse and exploit children and think they can get away with it."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through 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.