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Press Release

Williston, ND, Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting Several Minor Children

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

Bismarck – United States Attorney Mac Schneider, District of North Dakota, announced that Nicholas Anfin Nesdahl, age 29, from Williston, ND, appeared in Federal court on March 27, 2024, in Bismarck and pleaded guilty before District Court Judge Daniel M. Traynor to seven counts of producing or attempting to produce images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors charged in the District of North Dakota and two counts related to producing or attempting to produce and receiving images and videos of minors that were charged out of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Nesdahl is scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2024, is facing 360 to 3,240 months in Federal prison, with a mandatory minimum of 180 months.

Nesdahl’s conduct consisted of himself friending minors using various social networking platforms on the internet. Once his friend request was granted, Nesdahl would begin to groom the minors to produce images and videos of themselves nude or engaging in sexual activity. The activity was first discovered and reported to law enforcement by a parent of two victims located in Pennsylvania, which then resulted in a search of Nesdahl’s residence in Williston, North Dakota. As a result of that search, it was discovered that Nesdahl had victimized at least seven other victims that were located in North Dakota, Minnesota, Maryland, Texas, and New Jersey. The victims ages ranged from 6 to 15 years of age.

“Without the teamwork between our career prosecutors and their partners, this defendant would still be in the community preying on kids,” Schneider said. “While this guilty plea will increase public safety, it is also a reminder of the need to stay vigilant in the effort to protect children. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work closely with state and federal law enforcement to aggressively pursue child predators.”

“Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) St. Paul special agents work tirelessly to combat child predators like Nesdahl,” said Jamie Holt, HSI St. Paul Special Agent in Charge. “We will continue to fight against the exploitation of children and support victims by providing critical resources and services. Well done to the HSI special agents in North Dakota and our law enforcement community partners for bringing Nesdahl to justice for his reprehensible crimes.”

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. Attorney’s 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

For additional resources for survivors or victims, help is available at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) and CyberTipline URL

This case is being investigated by the Homeland Security Investigations and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gary Delorme, District of North Dakota.

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Terry W. Van Horn  701-297-7400

Updated March 27, 2024