U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
October 29, 2015

Stearns County Man Charged with Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger, FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Minneapolis Division Richard T. Thornton, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Superintendent Drew Evans and Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner today announced a federal criminal complaint charging DANIEL JAMES HEINRICH, 52, with receipt and possession of child pornography. HEINRICH made an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn., before Magistrate Judge Jeffrey J. Keyes. A detention hearing is expected to be held on Monday, November 2, 2015.

According to the federal criminal complaint and documents filed in state court, a search warrant was executed on July 28, 2015, at the Annandale, Minn., home of the defendant, seeking evidence related to the January 13, 1989, kidnapping and sexual assault of a Cold Spring, Minn., juvenile male and the October 22, 1989, abduction of a St. Joseph Township, Minn., juvenile male. During the execution of the search warrant, officers recovered numerous images of suspected child pornography from the residence. Those images were maintained in multiple three-ring binders and on the hard drive of a desktop computer.

“The charges against Mr. Heinrich result from a long-term child exploitation investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “Every image of child pornography victimizes a young person. Their lives and those of their families are never the same. This investigation wasn’t initiated to pursue those who trade in child pornography, but that’s what it uncovered and that’s what we’ve charged. The Stearns County Sheriff, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI continue the relentless pursuit of justice through this ongoing investigation for those who have lost loved ones.”

“This arrest sends a clear message to those who would exploit children: Law enforcement is actively pursuing you,” said Special Agent in Charge Thornton. “Children are the most innocent among us and there is no greater cause than their safety and protection. The FBI, in conjunction with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively seek those who would victimize children.”

“An investigation of this length and nature requires an unwavering commitment dedicated to ensure that in the end justice is served,” said Stearns County Sheriff John L. Sanner. “The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for and appreciates this level of commitment from our partners, the BCA, the FBI and the community as a whole.”

“Our pursuit of predators who target our children will never stop,” said BCA Superintendent Drew Evans. “It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened. In fact, as the science and the tools we use improve year after year, so does our ability to solve these crimes.”

According to the criminal complaint, among the suspected child pornography images stored in three-ring binders in HEINRICH’s home were more than 100 images that appear to depict child pornography, some of which depict known child victims, based on a review of national database of known victims of sexual abuse. In addition to the printed images, digital images of suspected child pornography were recovered from the defendant’s computer hard drive. Investigators also recovered hours of videos, apparently surreptitiously recorded by HEINRICH, of neighborhood children delivering newspapers, riding bicycles, playing in public playgrounds and participating in sporting activities.

In addition to the suspected child pornography discovered in HEINRICH’s home, and according to the criminal complaint, a recently-tested article of clothing worn by the juvenile male during a 1989 Cold Spring abduction and sexual assault was found to contain the defendant’s DNA. According to the BCA laboratory report, the predominant male DNA profile matches a known sample of the defendant. The predominant profile match to the defendant’s DNA would not be expected to occur more than once among unrelated individuals in the world population.

If you have information about this case, please contact the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office at 1-320-656-6625 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Steven L. Schleicher and Julie Allyn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit.

Defendant Information:

  • Annandale, Minn.


  • Possession of child pornography, 4 counts
  • Receipt of child pornography, 1 count
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