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Danville Man Sentenced To 40 Years In Federal Prison For Producing, Advertising Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2010

Urbana, Ill. – Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey today sentenced a Danville, Ill., man, Richard A. Pruitt, 44, of East Hegeler Lane, to serve 40 years in federal prison for producing and advertising child pornography. Upon release from prison, Pruitt was ordered to remain on supervised release for life.

Pruitt was arrested Aug. 4, 2009, and was indicted by a grand jury on charges he produced, advertised, received and possessed images of child pornography. On June 23, Pruitt entered pleas of guilty to the four counts charged in the indictment.

According to the affidavit filed in support of a criminal complaint in August 2009, law enforcement officers identified Pruitt as a subscriber to various websites that provided child pornography in three separate national undercover investigations related to paid-subscription child pornography websites.

Two of the investigations, “Operation Insider” and “Operation Landslide,” were conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Operation Falcon” was conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations. As federal investigators studied evidence collected in the national investigations, information regarding specific subscribers was provided to local divisions throughout the U.S. and local law enforcement agencies, including the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department, which also assisted in the local investigation.

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.

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