Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force members recognized for Operation Dry Dock and Online investigations

(STL.News) – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that members of the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force are being recognized with a U.S. Attorney’s Office Excellence Award for their involvement in the prosecution of multiple cases as a result of the U.S. Department of Justice Project Safe Childhood initiative.  The Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force is comprised of police officers from the Carmel Police Department, Fishers Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Task Force.

“I am extremely proud of the work of the members of the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force,” said Minkler. “I applaud the task force for their perseverance, their hard work, especially in often difficult subject matter, and their tireless effort in rescuing multiple minor victims from sex predators who exploited them sexually.”

“The Carmel Police Department is proud to be a partner in Project Safe Childhood,” said Chief Jim Barlow.  “The officers assigned to this project are tasked with a very difficult, but rewarding job.  The hard work of the members of Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force has spared countless children the horrors of being future victims.  We are so pleased with the outcome of this project and would like to thank everyone involved in its success.”

“The arrests made in partnership with the Hamilton County Metropolitan Child Exploitation Task Force reflect the success that results from the cooperative efforts of federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons.  “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to safeguard one of our most precious resources, our children.”

The Project Safe Childhood (PSC) initiative launched in 2006 that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children.  The threat of sexual predators soliciting children for physical sexual contact is well-known and serious; the danger of perpetrators who produce, distribute, and possess child pornography is equally dramatic and disturbing.  The Department of Justice is committed to the safety and well-being of every child and has placed a high priority on combating sexual exploitation of minors.

PSC is implemented through a partnership of U.S. Attorneys; Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces; federal partners, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service; advocacy organizations such as the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC); and state and local law enforcement officials in each U.S. Attorney’s district.

The Project Safe Childhood cases highlighted below were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven D. DeBrota and Kristina M. Korobov.

Adam Armstrong, 29, Frankfort, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 262 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Daniel Doyle, 33, Franklin, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Transportation of Visual Depictions of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct and was sentenced to 180 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.

Jason Frye, 37, Frankfort, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Shipping and Transporting Child Pornography and was sentenced to 188 months followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Timothy Reeves, 40, Linton, Indiana, pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and one count of Offense by Registered Sex Offender.  Reeves was sentenced to 540 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Zachary Ballinger, 33, Franklin, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 240 months followed by 20 years of supervised release.

United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler also announced the successful results of Operation Dry Dock, a sophisticated law enforcement investigation targeting offenders using internet and telephone social networking tools to sexually exploit children and trafficking in child pornography in the United States and worldwide.  To date, this Operation successfully identified 18 children in the Southern District of Indiana, Kentucky, South Africa, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, and Canada.  It also led the prosecution of at least 11 different offenders, including Jorgensen and the following, among others:

Warren Knoop, 32, East Rand, South Africa was convicted and sentenced to 32 life sentences, plus 170 years, by South African authorities after the target was identified by Operation Dry Dock in Indiana.

Chato Patterson, 43, Indianapolis, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 180 months followed by 7 years of supervised release, and restitution of $9,000.

Bradley Dennison, 30, Jeffersonville, Indiana, pleaded guilty to one count of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 360 months followed by a lifetime of supervised release, and restitution of $18,000.

Garrick Jorgensen, 39, Crestline, Ohio, pleaded guilty to one count each of Distributing Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 204 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

Steven Robinson, 43, Cleveland, Texas pleaded guilty to two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and was sentenced to 420 months of imprisonment by the Eastern District of Texas after the target was identified by Operation Dry Dock in Indiana.

Learn more about Project Safe Childhood by visiting the Department of Justice’s website at https://www.justice.gov/psc.

In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges.  This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to utilize and partner with law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals engaged in the sexual exploitation of children.  See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 4.1.

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