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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 24, 2015

Oregon Man Sentenced for Child Pornography

FARGO - Acting U. S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on July 23, 2015, Steven Cude, 52, Portland, Oregon, was sentenced before U. S. District Judge Ralph R. Erickson to serve 17 ½ years for transportation and possession of child pornography. Judge Erickson also sentenced Cude to a lifetime of supervised release and a $300 special assessment, payable to the Crime Victims Fund. As a result of the conviction, Cude will be required to register as a sex offender following his release from incarceration.

This case came to the attention of law enforcement after a cyber agent with the North Dakota Bureau of Investigations, assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, discovered a computer geographically located in North Dakota that was sharing child pornography in a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

Homeland Security Investigators eventually traced the computer to Cude’s residence in Dickinson, ND, where task force officers later seized various electronic media. A subsequent forensic examination of the electronic media devices revealed more than 336 images and 169 videos, totaling nearly 15 hours of child pornography. Also recovered from Cude’s devices were various materials reflecting a prurient sexual interest in children, including a tutorial on how to sexually offend children.

"The exploitation of children for sexual gratification is among the most heinous crimes anyone working in law enforcement can encounter," said HSI St. Paul’s Acting Special Agent in Charge, William M. Lowder. "HSI will continue working with our federal, state and local partners to aggressively pursue those criminals who trade in child pornography, and bring them to justice."

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigators ICE, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and the Dickinson Police Department.

Assistant U. S. 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 the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, 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 July 28, 2015