FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19 , 2010
ICE INVESTIGATORS FOLLOWED TRAIL FROM AUSTRALIA TO OLATHE, KAN.,
IN CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Larry L. Howard, 41, Olathe, Kan., has been charged with producing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said today.
A criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., charges that Howard took pornographic photos of a 2-year-old girl, which he traded over the Internet for more child pornography. The complaint says the investigation began Sept. 1, 2009, when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ( www.missingkids.com ) received a tip that a man in Australia had uploaded child pornography to the Flickr.com website. The Australian Capital Territory Police identified an Australian man, Troy White, as the user who posted the photos and filed child pornography charges against him.
Investigators learned White had been producing child pornography and swapping files over the Internet with other producers of child pornography around the globe. Among White’s contacts was an American who went by the Internet alias Blyndman68. Australian Federal Police shared the information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Cyber Crimes investigators, who followed Blyndman68's electronic trail to Olathe, Kan. On March 18, 2010, agents of ICE, the Olathe Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service served a search warrant at Howard’s home, resulting his arrest.
“ICE and its law enforcement partners work tirelessly to investigate child predators who seek to sexually exploit innocent children,” said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago.
If convicted, Howard faces a penalty of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Olathe Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and Australian Federal Police investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Marin is prosecuting. This case is being prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood. For more information see www.projectsafechildhood.gov .
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments filed merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.