WASHINGTON — A Wisconsin man was charged in a federal indictment Tuesday with producing and possessing child pornography, and engaging in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.
These charges resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with the cooperation of the Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Police Department.
Jeffrey H. Ernisse, 61, of Red Granite, Wisconsin, is currently incarcerated for state offenses related to child exploitation. A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin indicted Ernisse on the following charges:
- two counts of producing child pornography,
- two counts of producing child pornography outside the United States,
- one count of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Philippines, and
- one count of possessing child pornography.
According to the indictment, between March 10 and April 7, 2015, Ernisse produced child pornography with a minor. Between June 2014, and April 2015, Ernisse engaged in illicit sexual conduct with a minor in the Republic of the Philippines. And in December 2015, Ernisse possessed child pornography.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being prosecuted by: Trial Attorney William M. Grady of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Megan J. Paulson and Penelope L. Coblentz of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
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 16,000 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 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
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. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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 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.