Society

Federal Agents Raid Home Of Illinois Man Charged With Child Porn Possession

| by Emily Smith

Federal prosecutors brought child pornography charges against Illinois man Robert E. Godsey on Friday, after Homeland Security, Border Patrol and U.S. Customs descended upon the small, 850-person town of Livingston.

Federal agents, along with local law enforcement, initially used a farm west of Livingston as a staging ground before moving in to the town. They also used A.R. Graiff Elementary School where tactical vehicles from Alton Police Department, Madison County Sheriff's Office, an Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System mobile command center, an ARCH medical helicopter and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter were placed. 

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois spokesperson Jim Porter declined to elaborate on the unusual size of the raid, but noted only that law enforcement wants to be prepared for what might "reasonably" happen. Porter added that it's better to be over-prepared.

According to Special Agent John Taylor with the Department of Homeland Security and Investigations in St. Louis, authorities seized a Samsung notebook computer, a Maxtor One Touch external hard drive and a Western Digital external hard drive from Godsey's bedroom. Godsey, who was at home during the time of the raid, was taken into custody.

The 34-year-old admitted that the collected items belonged to him and that he has accumulated child pornography since the age of 17. He also admitted to trading it with other people via the internet.

Around 600 video and 1,000 images of minors engaged in sexually explicit content were found on the notebook computer. In some cases, the minors documented were under the age of 12.

Godsey was charged with receipt, possession and distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Two of the charges carry a sentencing range of five to 20 years, while the third cannot exceed a penalty of 20 years.

Sources: BND, The Blaze