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Child Exploitation

Kansas child pornography producer sentenced to almost 22 years in prison

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A local man was sentenced to 21 years and 10 months in prison on Monday following his guilty plea to producing child pornography with his 2-month-old relative.  This case resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Ronald Schulz, 54, of Rantoul, Kan., was sentenced May 17 in the District of Kansas to 262 months in federal prison for producing child pornography.

In his plea, Schulz admitted he became a target of a criminal investigation when an undercover officer in Sacramento, Calif., received images of child pornography over the Internet. The officer traced the images to Schulz in Kansas.

ICE agents executed federal search warrants in August and September 2009 at Schulz's home. Among the thousands of images of child pornography discovered, ICE agents found photos of a 2-month-old girl who is Schulz's relative. In the photos, Schulz was shown touching the child's genitals.

"This significant prison sentence sends a strong message of deterrence to predators who think they can sexually exploit innocent children and get away with it," said Gilbert Trill, assistant special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Kansas City. "We cannot undo the trauma to these children, but we work relentlessly to bring their perpetrators to justice."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Martin, District of Kansas, successfully prosecuted the case.

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.