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Press Release

Fargo Man Sentenced on Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

FARGO - First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Jordheim announced that on April 11, 2013, John Robert Ehlen of Fargo, N.D., was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson on one count of receipt of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors and three counts of possession of materials involving the sexual exploitation of minors. Ehlen, 30, pleaded guilty to the charges on Dec. 3, 2012.

Judge Erickson sentenced Ehlen to 13 years’ imprisonment to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. Ehlen was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,000 to three separate victims depicted in the child pornography images. Ehlen was also ordered to pay a $400 special assessment to the Crime Victim's Fund and to register as a sex offender.

This case came to the attention of law enforcement after officers assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) discovered that Ehlen had been offering files of child pornography on the internet. ICAC officers obtained and executed a search warrant for Ehlen’s residence located in Fargo, N.D.

During the search warrant execution, officers seized various electronic media that was forensically examined by a North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation special agent. The examination of such media revealed more than 225,000 images and 570 videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the images depict children as young as one and two years of age.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Fargo Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl prosecuted the case.

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. 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, visit

Updated January 29, 2015