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Child Exploitation

Western Colorado man sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography

DENVER — A man from western Colorado was sentenced last week to serve 17 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Walsh, District of Colorado, and by Special Agent in Charge Kumar Kibble with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Denver.

Following his 17-year prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore also ordered James Boblett, 34, of Grand Junction, Colo., to serve 10 years on supervised release. The defendant appeared at the sentencing hearing in custody, and was remanded at its conclusion.

Boblett was charged by Information Oct. 2, 2013. He pleaded guilty before Judge Moore Dec. 19. He was sentenced March 13, 2014.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the defendant's plea agreement, on July 8, 2011, a police officer with the Kenton County (Kentucky) Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force accessed the Internet using the undercover persona of a divorced mother with minor daughters. Between July 2011 and February 2012 James Boblett engaged the undercover officer in multiple Internet chats. The defendant distributed more than 50 images and 20 videos depicting child pornography to the undercover officer, including a video of child pornography depicting a 3-year-old child. In addition to distributing child pornography during the communications, Boblett showed himself on a webcam chatting and masturbating.

During the chats Boblett sent the undercover officer a sexually explicit image of a 13-year-old girl, who authorities were later able to identify. Investigators determined that Boblett had been chatting with the girl over the course of about a year, encouraging her to take sexually exploitive pictures of herself and send them to him. Boblett also sent the girl images of child pornography and images and videos of his penis. At the change-of-plea hearing, Boblett admitted to distributing child pornography.

"The defendant distributed child pornography to countless others which is reason enough for this lengthy sentence," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. "As a result of the defendant's conduct, the innocent children portrayed in those images were systematically victimized."

"This significant federal prison sentence removes from the streets another child sexual predator for a long time," said Kumar C. Kibble, special agent in charge of HSI Denver. "HSI routinely works with other law enforcement agencies to identify, locate and pursue prosecution against predators like Boblett who target the most vulnerable members of our society – our children."

This investigation was conducted by Kenton County, Kentucky Police Department and HSI.

Boblett is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alecia Riewerts Wolak and Michelle Heldmyer.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."

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 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, 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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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.