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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Former UND Police Officer Sentenced to Ten Years on Child Pornography Charges

FARGO - US Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on February 6, 2017, Paul Bradley Meagher, 43, Grand Forks, ND, was sentenced before US District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to serve 10 years in prison. Judge Erickson also ordered Meagher to serve 10 years’ supervised release, pay a $300 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund, and pay restitution of $16,000.

US Attorney Myers noted: "The protection of children is a priority for all law enforcement in North Dakota and no matter who you are, if you choose to harm a child the response will be swift and sure."

"It’s disturbing when someone seeks to harm a child – even more so when that person is in a position of public trust and abandons their sworn duty," said Special Agent in Charge Alex Khu of HSI St. Paul. "The sentencing of this former police officer proves that HSI and our law enforcement partners will actively pursue anyone engaged in harming our community’s most vulnerable members."

In the fall of 2015, law enforcement was made aware of an IP address located in Grand Forks, ND, that had made multiple requests utilizing a sophisticated network of computers to anonymize its internet protocol (IP) address while trading child pornography. Shortly thereafter law enforcement learned that the suspect was employed at the University of North Dakota Police Department. On November 3, 2015, agents from the North Dakota Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a search warrant of Meagher’s residence, where multiple items were seized, including various media devices containing more than 50,000 images and videos.

This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Assistant US Attorney Jennifer Puhl prosecuted the case.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the nation, Project Safe Childhood, in conjunction with Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communications systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The ICAC Program is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces engaging in proactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Project Safe Childhood also helps to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 7, 2017