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Child Exploitation

Yakima sex offender sentenced to 15 years for child exploitation

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 33-year-old sex offender from Washington was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison for advertising child pornography in Alaska, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Matthew Edward Shubart, of Yakima, Wash., admitted in a plea agreement to seeking and offering to exchange, distribute and receive child pornography over the Internet. According to prosecutors, Shubart was one of 109 members of an online child pornography trading group. Court documents say Shubart emailed seven pictures of child pornography to an Alaska resident last January. Before sending those images, Shubart remarked in an email that he got lucky with a hidden camera and took pictures of a "cutie."

HSI special agents found more than 800 images of child pornography on Shubart's computer and in his email account. Several child victims who were identified in those images submitted letters describing the serious harm they have suffered as the result of being sexually exploited.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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 (1-800-843-5678).

HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative 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.