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Child Exploitation

Southern Arizona man sentenced to more than 5 years on child pornography charges

TUCSON, Ariz. – A Sierra Vista man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Sierra Vista Police Department.

John Robert Stevens, III, 46, was sentenced June 17 to 64 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins. In addition to the prison term, Stevens will be subject to lifetime supervised release. Stevens pleaded guilty Jan. 30 to knowingly accessing child pornography with intent to view.

"There are few crimes more heinous than the sexual abuse of a child," said Carlos Archuleta, assistant special agent in charge of HSI Douglas. "Protecting our children from those who exploit them is a top priority for HSI. We will continue to work closely with our partners at the Sierra Vista Police Department to investigate these crimes and bring child predators to justice."

According to court documents, Stevens knowingly downloaded child pornography in 2011 from the Internet to his personal computer, including many images of children younger than 12 years old, as well as images depicting the sadistic and violent treatment of children.

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.