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Trial Dates Set For Three Central illinois Men Charged In Seperate Child Pornography Cases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – Initial trial dates have been scheduled for May 5, 2009, for three central Illinois men facing federal child pornography charges in separate, unrelated cases, as announced by Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.

Mark E. Burton, 53, of Stonington, Illinois, appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore for arraignment on one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. A grand jury returned the indictment on March 3, 2009; however, the indictment had remained sealed pending Burton’s arrest and court appearance on March 5, 2009. Burton was released on bond pending trial. The indictment alleges that from July 31, 2007 to June 9, 2008, Burton received images of child pornography by computer and that he possessed images and videos of child pornography on computer hard drives, compact discs, digital flash drives and other digital storage materials on June 9, 2008. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Burton’s computer equipment and related materials.

In an unrelated case, trial is set for May 5, 2009, for Jacob A. Armes, 25, currently of Raymond, Illinois. On March 3, 2009, a grand jury charged Armes, with receiving child pornography from January 10, 2006 through January 31, 2008, and with possession of child pornography on February 7, 2008. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Armes’ computer and related equipment. The case was unsealed on March 4, 2009, when Armes appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore and was released on bond pending trial.

Kenneth G. Crissey, 49, of the 800 block of South English, Springfield, Illinois, was indicted on February 25, 2009, and charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography, on October 9, 2006, and on July 5, 2007, and one count of possession of child pornography on September 12, 2007. The indictment also seeks criminal forfeiture of Crissey’s computer and related equipment. On February 26, 2009, Crissey was arrested and the indictment unsealed when he appeared before Magistrate Judge Cudmore and was released on bond pending trial.

The three cases were investigated by the Central Illinois Child Exploitation Working Group based in Springfield, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Illinois Attorney General’s Office; Springfield Police Department; Decatur Police Department; the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department; and the Stonington Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is prosecuting the cases.

If convicted, each count of receiving child pornography and of distribution of child pornography carries a mandatory minimum statutory penalty of five years in prison and up to 20 years and up to lifetime supervised release following the term of imprisonment. For possession of child pornography the statutory penalty is up to 10 years in prison and up to lifetime supervised release following the term of imprisonment.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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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