SAN DIEGO – A registered sex offender has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for possession of child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Jerry Louis Tintsman, 69, of San Diego, was sentenced Monday in federal court by U.S. District Court Judge Roger T. Benitez. At the hearing, Judge Benitez told Tintsman, "This is one of the longest sentences I have ever imposed, and you sir, are deserving of it."
Tintsman has been in federal custody since his arrest by HSI special agents October 18, 2010. Following his arrest, special agents executed a federal search warrant on Tintsman's home computer where more than 600 images of child pornography were discovered. He pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges in December 2010.
Tintsman was previously convicted of felony charges for lewd acts involving two girls under age 14 and was listed on the California Megan's Law registered sex offender database at the time of his arrest.
"This sentence should serve as a warning to those who seek to victimize and rob young children of their innocence," said Derek Benner, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego. "HSI will continue to aggressively hunt down child predators who use the Internet to prey on vulnerable children. We will ensure this type of criminal activity is pursued and child predators are held accountable for their despicable behavior."
According to the court documents, Tintsman engaged in an online chat with an undercover HSI special agent whom he thought was the mother of a seven-year-old daughter. During the chat, Tintsman revealed he had a sexual interest in children five and older and told the undercover agent he wanted to engage in sexual conduct with the fictitious seven-year-old daughter. He then told the undercover agent he had dated the mother of his two prior victims.
Tintsman's sentencing comes less than a week after federal agents from the HSI cybercrimes unit in San Diego arrested three San Diego-area men on federal child pornography charges as part of an ongoing sex predator investigation. All three were taken into custody for possession of child pornography and will be prosecuted in federal court.
The individuals arrested are:
- James Achenbach, 52, of National City;
- Derek Trunk, 34, of San Diego; and
- Kenneth Cox, 68, of Escondido.
These investigations are part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is 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.
Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.