Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hoffman Estate man arested for child pornography

DONALD R. PEPPERS, age 35, of 560 Mesa in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. PEPPERS was arrested in Cedar Rapids, Iowa yesterday afternoon, without incident, by FBI Special Agents assigned to the Omaha office.
PEPPERS was charged in a criminal complaint filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Chicago with one count of Manufacture of Child Pornography and two counts of Distribution of Child Pornography, both of which are felony offenses. According to the complaint, PEPPERS was identified by the Virginia’s FBI’s “Innocent Images Task Force” (IITF) as a possible distributor of child pornography over the internet.
PEPPERS is alleged to have started corresponding last month with a Task Force Officer (TFO), who was acting in an undercover capacity, via an internet chat room using the name “illinoisdonboy31”. During their chats, PEPPERS stated that he collected child pornography and had engaged in illicit sexual relationships with minor children. During one of these chats, PEPPERS sent the TFO via the internet, a video file that depicted the sodomization of a minor child by an adult male. PEPPERS is also alleged to have sent additional video files to the TFO, which depicted similar acts, including one video in which PEPPERS himself is believed to be sexually abusing a minor child.
The investigation was then referred to the Chicago IITF, who confirmed PEPPERS as the user of the screen name “illinoisdonboy31” and traced the internet account to his Hoffman Estates residence.
A search of PEPPERS’ residence was conducted yesterday afternoon, pursuant to a Federal search warrant issued in Chicago. The search was conducted by members of Chicago FBI’s IITF, assisted by the Hoffman Estates, Illinois Police Department. During the search, an extensive collection of suspected child pornography was discovered, including photographs, video tapes and DVD’s.
At the time of his arrest, PEPPERS was in Cedar Rapids on business, as he travels frequently for his employer, a Chicago area based printing company.
PEPPERS is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids later today, at which time he will be formally charged. If convicted of the charges filed against him, PEPPERS faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years incarceration to a maximum of thirty (30) years in prison.
The FBI’s “Innocent Images” initiative was established in 1996 and is part of a nationwide effort to combat the manufacture, distribution and possession of child pornography. At present, there are 43 separate IITF’s in various FBI offices around the country which are investigating similar cases. The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt and that all defendants in a criminal case are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

No comments:

Post a Comment