U.S. Army Colonel gets 12 years in prison for child porn charges

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ABC27

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A U.S. Army colonel was sentenced Wednesday for possession and distribution of child pornography. The original investigation was initiated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Philadelphia with assistance from Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division.

Colonel Robert J. Rice, 58, who was stationed at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA, was arrested in May 2014 following an HSI led investigation of his online activities. In May 2016, following a five-day jury trial, Rice was found guilty for knowingly possessing child pornography from Aug. 2010 through Jan. 29, 2013, and receiving and distributing child pornography through the internet from Jan. 23, 2013 through Jan. 28, 2013.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner sentenced Rice to 144 months imprisonment for possession and receipt and distribution of child pornography over the internet.

The investigation was part of HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

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