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Child Exploitation

Jacksonville man sentenced to 4 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Matthew Brewer, 30, of Jacksonville, was sentenced to four years in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possessing child pornography, following a nationwide investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Jacksonville.

Brewer was also ordered to register as a sex offender. He had pleaded guilty on Sept. 23, 2009.

ICE special agents initiated the investigation after discovering a computer in New Jersey that was hosting a child pornography website. ICE special agents surreptitiously purchased access to this website, and later executed a series of search warrants in Virginia and Florida. The information obtained revealed that an individual named Matt Brewer in Jacksonville had purchased access to one of the illegal websites.

Forensic analysis of Brewer's computer revealed that it contained more than 8,000 images of child pornography, including 149 videos, many of which were organized into user-created folders. Several of the images and videos depicted sadistic conduct, including the molestation and sexual abuse of very young children.

"ICE works in tandem with several different law enforcement agencies in order to combat crimes like these against children," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of ICE in Tampa. "These criminals prey upon the most vulnerable members of our society."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable.

Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals through Operation Predator. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Rodney Brown.