Federal grand jury indicts Illinois man on child pornography charges

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ROCKFORD, Ill. — A federal grand jury indicted an Illinois man Tuesday on child pornography charges.

This indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and James M. Gibbons, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Chicago.

Pierre D. Hayes, 27, of Rockford, was charged Jan. 10 with three counts of transporting child pornography over the internet in 2015.

Each count of transporting child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison, as well as $250,000 maximum fine. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica V. Mallory, Northern District of Illinois, is prosecuting this case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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