NEWARK, N.J. – Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), an Ocean County, N.J., man was sentenced to 264 months in prison for taking and distributing pornographic pictures of two minors, ages 3 and 6.
Dwayne Tucker, 26, of Bayville, N.J., was sentenced Friday in federal court to 22 years in prison. He previously pleaded guilty July 27, 2012, to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
"This sentence should serve as a warning to those who seek to victimize and rob young children of their innocence," said Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark. "HSI will maintain its unrelenting commitment to protecting our children by bringing child predators to justice, a fact evidenced by the significant sentence which Tucker received."
"The severe sentence imposed on this defendant is commensurate with the harm he caused his victims," said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey. "As this case shows once again, so-called ‘child pornography' is the recorded sexual assault of a child. The producers of this material are dangerous and must be treated accordingly by the judicial system."
According to court documents, in addition to taking and distributing the pictures, Tucker admitted to possessing more than 600 images of child pornography on his computer and accessories, which were seized from his Bayville residence in December 2010. Tucker acknowledged that among the images of child pornography he possessed were images which depicted minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with other minors and adults, including material portraying sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.
Tucker was previously charged with possession of child pornography in December 2010, and subsequently with distribution and possession of child pornography in February 2012. He has been in custody since his initial December 2010 arrest.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano sentenced Tucker to supervised release for the remainder of his life.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.