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Child Exploitation

Wisconsin man sentenced to 8 years in prison for possessing child pornography

MADISON, Wis. - A local man was sentenced on Wednesday to eight years in federal prison for possessing child pornography, including sadistic images of young children bound and blindfolded. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

James Anderson, 47, of Baraboo, Wis., was sentenced April 14 to eight years in prison after he pleaded guilty in January to possessing child pornography. During the court hearing, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb, Western District of Wisconsin, further ordered Anderson to serve 20 years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

The investigation into Anderson began after information was received that he was communicating and trading child pornography images with an individual in Mississippi, who was producing child pornography.

On July 8, 2009, ICE agents executed a search warrant at Anderson's residence and subsequently seized computers and computer-related equipment from Anderson's workplace. Forensic analysis of those items revealed a large collection of images and videos depicting children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

Anderson received an enhancement under the federal sentencing guidelines because he had sadistic images; some of the images and videos featured intercourse between adults and children as young as 1 year old. In some cases the children were bound with ropes or tape, or were blindfolded."Anyone who distributes or possesses child pornography victimizes the most vulnerable members of our society," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "Some of these images were particularly disturbing and heinous. ICE relentlessly pursues predators that sexually abuse and exploit children by possessing child pornography."

ICE was assisted in the investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Duchemin, Western District of Wisconsin, prosecuted the case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.