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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Nebraska Man Sentenced for Distribution of Materials Involving the Sexual Exploitation of Minors

Fargo – Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on March 30, 2015, Robert Vangorden, Age 41, Omaha Nebraska, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland, to serve 17 years and 6 months in prison for distributing materials involving the sexual exploitation of a minor. Judge Hovland also sentenced Vangorden to 10 years of supervised release following his incarceration and ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victims’ Fund and $5,000 in restitution.

This case was initiated by the Dickinson Police Department and later transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. During the summer of 2013, the Dickinson Police Department conducted an operation to identify child predators online, using a fictitious persona as a 14-year-old girl on various different social network sites. The undercover officer from the Dickinson Police Department began communicating with Vangorden on a social media site known as "Chat Avenue" and later communicated with him via Yahoo Messenger. Vangorden engaged in sexually explicit conversations with the officer’s persona, as well as sending the persona multiple images and videos containing child pornography.

The Department of Homeland Security continued the investigation for a period of two weeks and, during that time period, Vangorden continued communications with the persona and sent additional child pornography images as well as a sexually-explicit webcam video of himself.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security; Dickinson Police Department; and the North Dakota Bureau of Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary L. Delorme prosecuted the case.

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Updated March 31, 2015