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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Indiana Man Sentenced to Over 32 Years for Crimes Against Children Following HSI Hammond Investigation

Indiana Man Sentenced to Over 32 Years for Crimes Against Children Following HSI Hammond Investigation

Release Date: July 10, 2024

HAMMOND, Ind. — Tyrone Johnson, 36, of Merrillville, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon after a jury found him guilty of crimes against children, announced Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Chicago Special Agent in Charge Sean Fitzgerald and U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Johnson was sentenced to 390 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, following a two-day trial in August 2023, a jury found Johnson guilty of two counts charged in the second superseding indictment. Specifically, Johnson was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor for the purpose of producing a visual depiction. He was also convicted of committing a felony offense involving a minor while being required by law to register as a sex offender.

“Today, justice was served as the court handed down a fittingly significant sentence to Johnson for his involvement in the egregious crime of producing child pornography,” said Fitzgerald. “This decision underscores the profound gravity of such abhorrent acts and reaffirms HSI’s unwavering commitment to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society.”

“Outcomes such as today’s sentencing are only possible when we have an alert and engaged public that willingly joins with law enforcement to prosecute those who would harm the most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson. “I want to thank our partners — both within law enforcement and in the general public — who helped bring this defendant to justice, and I encourage and implore anyone who suspects a child is being harmed to take action and report it to law enforcement.”

This case was investigated by HSI with assistance from the Indiana State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Digital Forensics Lab, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Unit in Indiana, the Peru Police Department in Illinois, the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois, the city of LaSalle Police Department in Illinois, and the Illinois State Police Offender Registration Unit. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Morgan and Philip Benson, as well as former Assistant U.S. Attorneys Abizer Zanzi, Molly Kelley and Jill Koster.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. attorneys' offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.

HSI is a global leader in the fight against child exploitation. Last year, HSI special agents dedicated 1.2 million case hours toward investigating child exploitation. This heinous crime harms the most vulnerable in our society: our kids. As technology evolves and more people have access to the internet, children are at a greater risk than ever. HSI’s special agents and analysts around the world are dedicated to countering this threat.

Together with partners in law enforcement, state and local government, international counterparts, and nongovernmental organizations, the HSI workforce does heroic work to prevent these crimes, support those who are impacted by them, and hold perpetrators accountable.

HSI offers multiple options for virtual and in-person trainings to educate the public about the growing threats children and teens face online.

Learn more about HSI Chicago’s mission to eradicate online child exploitation on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSIChicago.

Last Updated: 07/10/2024
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