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Child Exploitation

Napa accountant sentenced to 6 years on child pornography charges

Defendant amassed a collection of more than 8,000 child pornography images

SAN FRANCISCO - A certified public accountant from Napa, Calif., was sentenced six years in prison Monday for receiving child pornography as a result of a year-long probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

In addition to the prison term, Stewart John Burch, 58, will be placed on 10 years of supervised release following his incarceration. Burch pleaded guilty April 4 to one count of receiving child pornography. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. Burch is currently in custody after a magistrate judge revoked his bond in Oct. 2010.

Burch was indicted by a federal grand jury in Jan. 2010 after ICE HSI agents executed search warrants at his home and workplace. During the searches, investigators found computers containing more than 7,000 child pornography images and videos. Several months later, agents discovered another computer at Burch's workplace that contained more than 1,000 additional images of child pornography. Burch was originally identified by federal agents as a repeat subscriber to several members-only child pornography websites after investigators discovered his subscription information on the child pornography purveyor's Internet server.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Owen Martikan with assistance provided by Rosario Calderon.

This investigation is part of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.

As part of 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. 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.

Through Project Safe Childhood (PSC), the Department of Justice is seeking 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, PSC mobilizes federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.

For additional information on the PSC initiative, go to www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.