INDIANAPOLIS — A registered sex offender from Indiana was sentenced in federal court Friday to 15 years in prison for distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler, Southern District of Indiana.
This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Hamilton County (Indiana) Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.
Randolph Felton, 36, from Noblesville, Indiana, was sentenced May 15 to 15 years in prison by U.S. District Chief Judge Richard L. Young after pleading guilty to distributing child pornography. This is Felton’s second conviction related to child pornography. In January 2013 he was convicted in Hamilton County of possessing child pornography. Judge Young also imposed 10 years of supervised release after Felton completes his prison term.
“The heinous crime that this pedophile committed is something his victims will have to deal with for the rest of their lives,” said Minkler. “Mr. Felton must pay for that with fifteen years of his life. This office will never stop our fight to hold those who exploit children accountable by sending them to federal prison.”
HSI special agents received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that images of child pornography had been uploaded to an Internet email account. Based on this tip and other information, a federal search warrant was obtained for the account, which was traced to computer and mobile devices used by Felton, a registered sex offender. HSI special agents confirmed that the account contained dozens of video and image files depicting minor children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Upon further investigation, HSI special agents found that Felton had been emailing these images and videos to other individuals using the email account. Special agents ultimately determined that Felton had been receiving and distributing child pornography through that account from September 2012 until his arrest in June 2014.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys MaryAnn T. Mindrum and Nicholas J. Linder, Southern District of Indiana, prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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-THE-LOST.
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.