News and Press Releases

Emerado Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges

February 27, 2012

FARGO - U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Feb. 27, 2012, Clifford Sweeney of Emerado, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to over eight years in prison on child pornography charges.

Sweeney, 52, pleaded guilty on Dec. 6, 2011, to charges of possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and distribution of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

On Jan. 11, 2011, Sweeney uploaded child pornography to the adult pornographic website This information was reported by to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which in turn, referred the lead to the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Eventually, a search warrant was executed at Sweeney’s residence where various electronic media was seized. A forensic examination of the electronic media revealed hundreds of images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Sweeney was also ordered to a lifetime of supervised release and to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund. The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and N.D. Bureau
of Criminal Investigation.

This case was brought as a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the CriminalDivision’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, visit

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl is prosecuting the case.



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