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Grand Jury Indicts Henry County Man Charged with Production, Possession of Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2013

Rock Island, Ill. – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a Henry county man, Steven D. Ford, 27, of Cambridge, Ill., with production and possession of child pornography. Ford was previously arrested and charged by federal criminal complaint in July 2012. Ford has remained in federal law enforcement custody since his arrest; the court granted Ford’s request for psychiatric evaluation at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility. During a court hearing on Jan. 29, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas J. Shields, Ford was determined mentally competent and remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The indictment charges Ford with two counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. The crimes allegedly occurred from June 2011 to July 2012. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of Ford’s computer, cell phone and related equipment allegedly used in the offenses.

The charges were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Davenport Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk W. Schuler.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of production of child pornography is a mandatory minimum 15 years to 30 years in prison. For possession of child pornography, the penalty is up to 20 years in prison. Each of the child pornography offenses carry terms of supervised release of up to life following any term of imprisonment.

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

The 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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