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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

Jan. 18, 2012

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

U.S. Citizen Living and Working in Mexico Sent to Prison on Child Pornography Charge

HOUSTON - David Aric Ladewig, 43, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes sentenced Ladewig this morning to 48 months in federal prison and further ordered he pay a total of $6,000 in restitution to two victims in known child pornography series commonly traded over the Internet.

The investigation began on Sept. 9, 2010, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston Texas conducted an inbound inspection on Continental Airlines passenger Ladewig. He had arrived on an international flight from Cancun, Mexico, where he was living and working at the time. During the inspection, a record check revealed Ladewig was a match for an individual suspected of downloading and collecting child pornography according to law enforcement authorities in Florida. Ladewig, who was transporting a laptop computer and an external hard drive, was asked for the items in order for CBP officers to conduct an inspection and forensic exam. Ladewig was then allowed to continue to Michigan, where he was visiting family.

During the forensic analysis, it was determined that both the laptop computer and the external hard drive contained approximately 1,439 images of child pornography and 81 videos of child pornography that had been downloaded using the Internet. The examination also resulted in the discovery of Limewire and Frostwire, peer-to-peer file sharing programs available on the Internet, on the drive and that he had visited websites which suggested pornographic content.

Ladewig was arrested in October 2010 as he was returning to Cancun, Mexico. At that time, another laptop computer and external hard drive were seized and additional child pornography was found. He has been detained in federal custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Ladewig pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography on July 5, 2011. 

The charges against Ladewig were the result of an investigation conducted by ICE-HSI with the assistance of CBP.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Stabe, 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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.