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Child Exploitation

Jury convicts Illinois man for producing, possessing child pornography

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois man was convicted on Friday of producing and possessing child pornography, announced Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney James A. Lewis, Central District of Illinois. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Springfield, Ill., Police Department.

Jeffrey Price, 47, of Riverton, Ill., was convicted Nov. 4 by a federal jury, after two hours of deliberation, on one count of producing and one count of possessing child pornography. He was indicted in November 2009 following his arrest on Oct. 22, 2009 on a federal criminal complaint. Price has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest.

During Price's trial, which began on Nov. 1, the government presented evidence showing that between November 2003 and March 2004, Price coerced and photographed a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Evidence also was presented that showed Price possessed more than 900 images and 20 movies depicting children engaged in sexually explicit activity.

Price's sentencing is scheduled for March 12. Producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years in prison. Possessing child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Both charges carry maximum terms of lifetime supervised release following any prison terms.

The case was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorneys Greggory R. Walters and Elly Peirson, Central District of Illinois, and CEOS Assistant Deputy Chief Alexandra Gelber. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Sangamon County, Ill., Child Advocacy Center also assisted in the investigation.

This investigation is 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline 1-866-DHS-2ICE and its online tip form. Both are 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.