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Child Exploitation

North Dakota man sentenced to 17 ½ years for receiving child pornography

BISMARCK, N.D. — A local man was sentenced on Tuesday to 17.5 years in prison for receiving child pornography. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) led the investigation.

Matthew P. Koch, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Hovland for receiving materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Koch had previously pleaded guilty to the charge on July 13.

Judge Hovland sentenced Koch to serve 210 months in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. Koch must also register as a sex offender, and was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims Fund.

In June 2010 Koch downloaded visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct on his home computer. The criminal investigation discovered he had received about 3,500 images in total.

The case was investigated by ICE HSI, the Wahpeton Police Department, and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal 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.