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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

California Prison Inmate Pleads Guilty

Project Safe Childhood


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former California prison inmate, incarcerated for state sex offenses, pleaded guilty in federal court today to using a smuggled cell phone to distribute child pornography over the Internet.

Eric Lee Bederson, 37, an inmate at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, Calif., pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to two counts of distributing child pornography. At the time he committed these offenses, Bederson was serving a 16-year state sentence in California for a charge involving the aggravated sexual abuse, sexual abuse, and abusive sexual conduct of a minor.

By pleading guilty today, Bederson admitted that he used smuggled cell phones to distribute numerous images and videos of child pornography to an undercover federal agent. Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 8, 2011, he sent six e-mails to an undercover agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which included a total of 164 images and 10 videos of child pornography. Bederson sent this child pornography with the hope and expectation that the undercover HSI agent (and others) would reciprocate in sending child pornography back to him in return. Bederson also admitted that his e-mail accounts contained multiple gigabytes of emails and attachments of child pornography.

For example, on Sept. 29, 2011, Bederson sent an e-mail with 24 attached images of child pornography to the undercover federal agent. On Oct. 1, 2011, Bederson sent another e-mail to the undercover federal agent, which contained a video of child pornography.

Under federal statutes, Bederson is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 80 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the California State Prison security office.
Updated January 15, 2015