Former Nurse Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography and Conspiracy to Acquire Controlled Substances
A former Wynot, Nebraska middle school teacher and Sergeant Bluff High School baseball coach was sentenced in federal court in Sioux City. Andrew Heller, age 39, was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor after pleading guilty in federal court on January 13, 2023.
The FBI and Sioux City Police Department were conducting an undercover investigation to identify subjects engaged in human trafficking in Sioux City, Iowa. As part of the operation, law enforcement posted an advertisement for sex services on a frequently used dating website.
Andrew Heller, a middle school teacher and high school baseball coach responded to an ad purporting to be from a 19-year-old female offering sexual services in exchange for money. After calling the phone number in the ad, Heller began communicating with a person he believed was a 14-year-old girl, but who was actually an undercover FBI agent. Heller agreed to pay $200 cash and bring some Trulys in exchange for sex with the 14-year-old. The meeting date was scheduled, and Heller showed up, as previously arranged, in his vehicle. He was searched by police, who found the cash and Trulys, along with condoms.
This case was brought as 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
Heller was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 120 months’ imprisonment. He must also serve 5 years of supervised release after the term of imprisonment and pay a $5,100 in special assessments. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ron Timmons and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sioux City Police Department.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 22-4059.
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