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Ironton man found guilty on child pornography charges

A 53-year-old Ironton man has been found guilty of distributing, receiving and possessing video and image files containing child pornography. Roger Erik Splettstoeszer, 53, was charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography, one co...

Roger Erik Splettstoeszer
Roger Erik Splettstoeszer

A 53-year-old Ironton man has been found guilty of distributing, receiving and possessing video and image files containing child pornography.

Roger Erik Splettstoeszer, 53, was charged with four counts of distribution of child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. A federal jury in Minneapolis found him guilty Thursday, April 19, on all six counts, U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Booker reported.

As presented at trial, from at least April through September 2015, Splettstoeszer, who owned and operated a computer repair business called Deepsystems in Aitkin, used the internet to search for, receive and distribute images and videos of child pornography. During that time period, undercover investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered multiple known child pornography files on the Ares peer-to-peer network. Investigators determined that the files were from a computer with an IP address assigned to Deepsystems. Based on the undercover downloads, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant on Deepsystems, seizing multiple computers. Following a forensic review of the computers, investigators found that the devices contained, in total, more than 35,000 photos and 400 videos of child pornography. Splettstoeszer was charged for the crimes on June 22, 2017.

Splettstoeszer was previously investigated in 2011 in Crow Wing County for distributing child pornography via a peer-to-peer network and possessing thousands of child pornography files. Additionally, in 1999, Splettstoeszer was charged in Crow Wing County with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for sexually assaulting and raping two children.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney's Offices and 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, visit www.justice.gov/psc .

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This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Aitkin Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah E. Hudleston and Miranda E. Dugi are prosecuting the case.

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