Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Former Peoria fire captain gets 11 years for possessing child pornography
PEORIA, Ill. - A former captain at the Peoria Fire Department was sentenced here Friday to 11 years in prison for having more than 100 images of child pornography on his home computer. This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Darren Wayne Reeves, 42, was sentenced in federal court by U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm to serve 132 months in federal prison and pay a $5,000 fine. Reeves was also ordered to a life term of mandatory supervised release following his prison term. Reeves will report to the federal Bureau of Prisons to start his prison term Oct. 22.
Reeves was employed as a captain with the Peoria Fire Department when ICE agents executed a search warrant at his Peoria residence Jan. 29. A forensic exam of his home computer and other media revealed more than a hundred images of child pornography.
Reeves waived indictment May 23 and entered a plea of guilty to receiving child pornography. Reeves admitted that from about May 20, 2006 to Jan. 24, 2007, he downloaded images and videos of child pornography from the Internet to his computer.
The Peoria Police Department assisted ICE in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas A. Keith of the Central District of Illinois successfully prosecuted the case.
"ICE is committed to bringing all of its law enforcement resources to bear on cases like this that involve the greatest violations of public trust," said Elissa A. Brown, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Chicago. "We've made it an agency priority to stop predators from using the Internet to abuse and exploit innocent children. ICE is committed to protecting those who cannot protect themselves, and the victims of child sexual exploitation are at the top of that list."
Reeves' arrest and prosecution were part of Operation Predator, ICE's comprehensive initiative to safeguard children from foreign national pedophiles, international sex tourists, Internet child pornographers, and human traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 10,000 individuals nationwide, including more than 540 in Illinois.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline, 1-866-DHS-2ICE, which is monitored 24 hours a day. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or www.cybertipline.com.