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Child Exploitation

US Army sergeant sentenced to 13 years for receiving child pornography

LAFAYETTE, La. – A local man was sentenced on Tuesday to more than 13 years in federal prison and 15 years supervised release for receiving child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Louisiana State Police (LSP), and the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Ryder, 24, of Lake Charles, La., pleaded guilty in February 2011 to one count of receiving child pornography. In documents filed with the court prior to the June 14 sentencing, it was revealed that Ryder, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was identified during an investigation using Limewire, a file-sharing software site (peer-to-peer), to distribute child pornography. Detectives executed a search warrant at Ryder's residence and seized his computer which contained over 1,000 images of child pornography and 34 videos. The images and videos include infants and very young children being raped, and otherwise, sexually assaulted. The defendant admitted to downloading the images and videos from Limewire.

"ICE HSI will aggressively use its investigative authorities to identify and arrest individuals who seek to sexually exploit children," said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., special agent in charge of ICE HSI in New Orleans. "We are committed to protecting our communities by bringing to justice these child predators who are a direct threat to our youth." Parmer oversees responsibility for the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.

U. S. Attorney Stephanie Finley stated, "My office will use every available statute to prosecute child pornography, trafficking and exploitation. We will continue to work with our federal, state and local investigative agencies to find those who facilitate, benefit from, or contribute to the abuse of children. Cases like this should send a message that we are serious and that there are harsh consequences for this type of destructive behavior. We have never been more committed to protecting the children of this district and trying to put an end to these horrific crimes that cause so much damage to children and their families.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker.