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April 25, 2019Casper, WYUnited StatesChild Exploitation

Wyoming man sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for distributing child pornography

CASPER, Wyoming — A Wyoming man was sentenced Thursday to five years in federal prison for distributing child pornography after a criminal investigation discovered numerous of child pornography images on his cellphone.

This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Mark A. Klaassen, District of Wyoming. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and local law enforcement partners in Colorado and Wyoming.

Dillon Wicks, 26, from Riverton, Wyoming, was also ordered to pay $5,000 restitution by Chief Federal District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl in his sentencing hearing.

Wicks returned to Denver, Colorado, from a trip to Thailand in June 2018, and was suspected to have possessed and distributed child pornography. When he was interviewed at Denver International Airport his cellphone was searched revealing numerous child pornography images.

Using cell tower information, HSI special agents matched up times when Wicks was in Wyoming receiving and distributing child pornography on KIK Messenger via his cellphone. He had uploaded two unique video files of child pornography to a KIK user group and also stored many images on his cellphone.

In addition to his five-year prison sentence, Wicks was also ordered to serve 10 years on supervised release.

HSI Casper is part of the Wyoming Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. This Task Force is comprised of members from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), HSI, the FBI and Casper (Wyoming) Police Department (CPD). The mission of this Task Force is to investigate criminal violations of both federal and state child pornography, and child sexual exploitation laws.

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 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) 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.

Updated: 04/30/2019