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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 19, 2014

United States Attorney’s Office Announces Sentence In Child Pornography Case

Kokomo man sentenced to 72 months for distributing child pornography

INDIANAPOLIS – Josh J. Minkler, the Acting United States Attorney, announced today the sentencing of a Kokomo man for distribution of child pornography. Brandon Tooley, 33, Kokomo, was sentenced to 72 months (six years) by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

“This Office initiated Operation Community Watch over two years ago with an unwavering resolve to find and prosecute those who exploit our children,” Minkler said. “You are not anonymous online and if you engage in this type of behavior, you will be held accountable.

On October 2, 2013, a federal search warrant was executed on Tooley’s Yahoo! Inc. email account. Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI ), discovered emails distributed and received by Tooley that were determined to contain image and video files of child pornography. Two days later, agents acting in an undercover capacity, made contact over Yahoo! Messenger with Tooley. During that conversation, Tooley distributed to the agents an image which was determined to be of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

On October 7, 2013, federal agents served a search warrant at Tooley’s residence. Agents located an HP desktop computer in the living room of the residence next to the television which was being used as a monitor for the computer. A forensic analysis of the HP desktop computer revealed approximately 45 videos and over 100 images of child pornography.

This case was investigated by HSI and the Hamilton County Metro Child Exploitation Task Force.

“Those who trade child pornography over the Internet mistakenly believe that cyberspace shields them from detection by law enforcement," said Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge for HSI Chicago. "However, as this sentence makes abundantly clear, child sex predators will be caught, prosecuted, and handed the justice they deserve for their despicable actions.”

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryAnn T. Mindrum, who prosecuted this case for the government, Tooley faces ten years of supervised release after serving his sentence.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. The greatest measure of the PSC program’s impact is the identification and rescue of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Led nationally by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals, federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Updated January 26, 2015