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Press Release

Suburban Chicago Man Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Sharing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for sharing videos of child pornography with users of an online messaging application.

AUSTIN BURCHERT, 22, of Elk Grove Village, possessed on his cell phone more than 3,000 images and approximately 54 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Under the screenname “so_raven_,” Burchert on Feb. 12, 2018, shared 13 such images and one video file in a chat group on the Kik online messaging application.  There were approximately 50 people in the chat group at the time, including an undercover law enforcement agent.

Burchert pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of transportation of child pornography.  In addition to the nine-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso on Tuesday ordered Burchert to pay $65,000 in restitution to the known victims depicted in the pornographic images and videos.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Richard S. Fitzgerald, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Homeland Security Investigations.  Substantial assistance in the investigation was provided by the Elk Grove Village Police Department, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and Deerfield Police Department.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Misty N. Wright and Esther Mignanelli.

“The defendant’s crime contributed to the perpetual victimization of hundreds of children by contributing to the ever-growing market for the creation and distribution of child pornography,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Misty N. Wright argued in the government’s sentencing memorandum.  “Defendant’s victims and their parents have to live with the fact that these photos and videos depicting their abuse were shared and may be viewed for years to come by pedophiles.”

“Let this sentence serve as a reminder that HSI is committed to standing firmly in the way of those who prey on and exploit our most vulnerable population – our children,” said HSI Acting SAC Fitzgerald.  “HSI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement and judicial partners to identify and bring to justice individuals who commit these very serious crimes.”

If you believe you are a victim of sexual exploitation, you are encouraged to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678, or log on to  The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Updated February 11, 2021

Violent Crime