FBI Jackson
Public Affairs Specialist Brett Carr
(601) 948-5000
December 1, 2016

Itawamba County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Federal Prison for Child Sexual Exploitation and Child Pornography

Jeffery Bryan Rakestraw, 30, of Fulton, Mississippi, was sentenced on November 3, 2016, to 300 months in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a minor and 180 months in federal prison for distribution of child pornography, for a total of 40 years.

Rakestraw was arrested on December 12, 2015, after information was developed through the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force and the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office that Rakestraw was involved in the production and distribution of child pornography. 

On February 24, 2016, Rakestraw was indicted by a federal grand jury on seven counts of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.

“The FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force will continue to seek out those that choose to prey on our most vulnerable,” said Christopher Freeze, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “This mission would not be possible without our partnerships with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, like in this case with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.”

“Joint investigations have proven to be an essential tool in the fight against child exploitation and abuse,” Attorney General Jim Hood said. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners of the task force in this ongoing battle to protect our children from these online predators.”

The FBI Jackson Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force and the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. The task force is composed of agents from the FBI and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Offices in Oxford and Jackson.

The FBI is enhancing its efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse by partnering the task force elements of the Innocence Lost and Innocent Images national initiatives in one Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF).

The task force's goal is to provide a rapid and effective investigative response to reported federal crimes involving the victimization of children. The task force strives to reduce the vulnerability of children to acts of sexual exploitation and abuse and strengthen the capabilities of federal, state, and local law enforcement through training programs and investigative assistance.