Hogsett Announces Sentencing of Parke County Man on Child Pornography Charges
Prosecution Represents More Results in U.S. Attorney’s Ongoing Operation Community Watch
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 13, 2014|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the sentencing of Rockville resident Bradley M. Vandivier, age 28, to 10 years in federal prison after his admission of guilt to charges that he possessed child pornography and illegally accessed a protected computer. This prosecution comes as the U.S. Attorney’s Office has recommitted to Operation Community Watch, a federal effort that aims to reduce the abuse of Hoosier children through innovative investigative techniques and aggressive prosecution.
“Through our Operation Community Watch initiative, we have joined with state and local partners to make clear that we will not tolerate child exploitation in Indiana,” Hogsett said. “With innovation and vigilance, we are unmasking these online predators and holding them accountable for their criminal activity.”
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation is committed to pursuing online child predators through our Innocent Images National Initiative,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert A. Jones. “FBI agents and local and international task force members collaborate with our state and local partners daily in the fight against those who prey on our children.”
On March 15, 2013, detectives from the Indiana State Police were checking for compliance with Indiana’s sex offender registry at the residence of Vandivier on Erie Street in Rockville. Detectives asked the defendant if they could look around his house, and Vandivier invited them inside but informed them he was going to let his dogs out first. Rather than let his dogs out, however, detectives observed the defendant enter a room and close the door.
After calling Vandivier out of the room and conducting further investigation, detectives located a laptop computer inside the room, hidden under a blanket at the foot of a chair. It was later revealed that the defendant had been utilizing a neighbor’s wireless Internet network in an effort to obtain child pornography. A forensic investigation has revealed hundreds of videos and images of child pornography on the laptop, including depictions of sexual abuse against children younger than age 7.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Myers, who prosecuted the case for the government, Vandivier was also sentenced to lifetime supervised release at the end of his prison term and must comply with state and federal requirements as a registered sexual offender.
This arrest comes one year after Hogsett announced a comprehensive crackdown on child exploitation in Indiana. In 2013, he launched Operation Community Watch, which has allowed prosecutors and investigators to use cutting-edge techniques to identify and charge people in Hoosier communities who are engaged in the receipt and trafficking of child pornography materials. In this case, those efforts were facilitated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Parke County law enforcement.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a larger nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Hogsett pointed out that in the last Project Safe Childhood reporting year, the office prosecuted 52 defendants, an increase of 37 percent over the prior year, and 49 defendants were convicted and sentenced. These are all-time records for the office.
The greatest measure of the PSC program’s impact, however, is the identification and rescue of child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. Over the last two years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office successfully identified more than 120 child victims, including minors in Indiana, numerous places in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and other countries around the world.
Led nationally by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.