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PERRY MAN FOUND GUILTY ON CHARGES OF RECEIPT AND POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

May 12, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas announced that Neil E. Havlik, age 58, of Perry, was found guilty on child pornography charges late evening Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Havlik was acquitted of a witness tampering charge.

“There can be no greater duty that we as a society have than protecting our children. Along with our state and local counterparts, I am committed to vigorously prosecute those who would prey on our children,” stated Thyer.

According to evidence submitted during the trial, the FBI’s Innocent Images International Task Force conducted an investigation into an internet credit card site that was processing credit card payments of websites offering child pornography for sale. During the 2006 investigation, law enforcement obtained a list of customers who had purchased memberships to enter child porn websites and Neil E. Havlik was one of the individuals on that list. His name was sent to a Postal Inspector who conducted an undercover operation. During the investigation, Havlik mailed a request for a catalog of child pornography media and three videos of child pornography movies along with a $60 check to what he thought was a child pornography supplier. Postal Inspectors prepared an undercover express mailing package which contained the three child pornography movies Havlik ordered. Postal Inspectors then obtained an anticipatory search warrant for Havlik’s property in Perry, Arkansas. On March 22, 2007, the search warrant was executed after Havlik took delivery of the undercover package from the Perry Post office. Videotapes seized pursuant to the search warrant yielded over 450 additional images and 24 videos of child pornography.

Following a three-day trial, Havlik was convicted by a jury on the charges of receipt and possession of child pornography in approximately ninety minutes. He was acquitted of a separate charge related to witness tampering.

The witness tampering charge involved Havlik paying the attorney’s fees for a witness defending a state charge, while that witness was scheduled to testify against Havlik in his upcoming jury trial. The jury heard evidence regarding an August 2010 jail house call between Havlik and the witness, where Havlik said, “Well just so long as you’ve got something that’s going to help me … I hope so, you better …. Otherwise I ain’t paying your f****** attorney fees and s*** … Well, all I know is I ain’t paying it for nothing, so you better have something.” The witness testified but the jury did not find Havlik “attempted to corruptly persuade” the witness to testify favorably on his behalf at his trial in exchange for the payment of the witnesses’ attorneys fees.

Havlik faces a minimum mandatory statutory penalty of 5 years imprisonment with the maximum amount being 20 years, and a $250,000 fine. Havlik was detained in September 2010 for violations of his pretrial release, and he remains in custody following the guilty verdict. Havlik will be sentenced at a date to be determined by the court.

This investigation was conducted by inspectors from the United States Postal Inspection Service, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and agents with the Arkansas State Police. The METRO SWAT team comprised of the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Department and the Conway Police Department assisted in the execution of the search warrant. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Marsha W. Clevenger and Anne Gardner.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Christopher R. Thyer

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas is pleased to bring you

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