Jesse Stewart

Man charged for 6K images of child porn

Published 4:30pm Saturday, January 14, 2012

Following an investigation that began overseas, an Albert Lea man was indicted Tuesday in federal court for allegedly possessing almost 6,000 images of child pornography.

The indictment, unsealed Friday, charges Jesse Jeff Stewart, 33, with one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

The case arose after an investigation by the German federal police and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, authorities executed a search warrant at Stewart’s residence, 1109 Lincoln Ave., on Dec. 2, 2009, at which time they found Stewart in possession of about 5,700 images of child pornography, as well as videos containing similar conduct. The items were reportedly found on four computers and eight CDs.

The release states Stewart also allegedly received, via a peer-to-peer file sharing program, a video that contained images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct in October 2007.

The German federal police had been investigating a computer network that featured child pornography and found that multiple Internet addresses in the United States had downloaded the pornographic images. When they found this out, they contacted American authorities, which ultimately led them to Stewart, a 1997 Albert Lea High School graduate.

David Anderson, community relations specialist for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said Stewart has been released on bail.

The Tribune spoke with Stewart on Friday evening at his home to give him an opportunity to explain the allegations. He declined to comment.

He faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years, for the receipt of child pornography charge. He faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin P. Johnson is prosecuting the case.


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