FARGO, N.D. – An eastern North Dakota man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to 71 months in federal prison for possessing child pornography.
This sentence is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the West Fargo, N.D. Police Department.
Mark Robert Perry, 53, of West Fargo, was sentenced on one count of possessing materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Perry pleaded guilty to the charge March 11.
This case came to the attention of law enforcement on March 6, 2012, after authorities discovered that Perry was trading child pornography files online. The incidents occurred at his residence between Nov. 11, 2011, and March 2, 2012.
Perry’s prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release and he must register as a sex offender. He was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victim's Fund. There is no parole in the federal prison system.
The 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.