Grand Jury Charges DeWitt County Man with Producing Child Pornography
Peoria, Ill. – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment that charges Dustin E. Mandrell, 25, of Clinton, Illinois, with one count each of producing and possessing images of child pornography. Mandrell is also charged with committing a felony offense involving a minor while designated as a sex offender. Further, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of camera and computer equipment and related items used in the commission of the alleged offenses.
Co-defendant Ruby Roberts, 19, of Sullivan, Illinois, is charged with one count of possession of child pornography.
Mandrell and Roberts are currently in the custody of law enforcement in DeWitt county on unrelated charges.
The indictment alleges that on or about Aug. 5, 2009, Mandrell coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct. According to the indictment, Mandrell has a prior sex offense conviction in Illinois. Mandrell and Roberts are charged in count two of the indictment with possession of child pornography on or about Aug. 1, 2009.
If convicted, Mandrell, charged as a registered sex offender, faces enhanced penalties of up to life in prison for production of child pornography with a mandatory 10 years in prison to be served consecutive to any prison term imposed; for possession of child pornography, if convicted, Mandrell faces a mandatory minimum 10 years to 20 years in prison. Roberts, if convicted, faces statutory penalties of up to 10 years in prison, with terms of up to life supervised release following any term of imprisonment, for possession of child pornography.
The charges are the result of an investigation by U.S. Secret Service and members of the working group including the Bloomington Police Department; Illinois State Police; and with the assistance of the Clinton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson is prosecuting the case.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are 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 U.S. 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.
James A. Lewis
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