FARGO, N.D. – A North Dakota man was sentenced Monday in federal court to nine and a half years in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.
This sentence was the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Fargo, N.D. Police Department.
Brandon Lee Stockburger, 26, of Fargo, was sentenced to 114 months in federal prison on three counts of possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and one count of receiving materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Stockburger pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 14.
Stockburger's sentence will be followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and pay a $400 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund.
The case came to light after officers located child pornography files available for sharing via an internet protocol (IP) address originating in Fargo, N.D. The IP address was traced to Stockburger's residence which was eventually searched by authorities.
During the search, federal and state agents recovered numerous electronic media containing about 156 videos and 2,328 images depicting the graphic sexual abuse of children, including images of prepubescent children. Stockburger collected and shared these files between 2007 and April 2012.
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.