Alleged Child Porn Producer Arrested, Pretzel Bag Helped Identify Suspect

A man suspected of producing child pornography was in custody shortly after police released images of the individual, thanks to tips from the public and a pretzel bag visible in one of the photos.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations released the photo of the suspect, identified as “John Doe,” in the hope that the public would be able to identify him. ICE was called in to handle the case by the Danish National Police, stating, “According to the criminal complaint filed by HSI, four videos of child pornography with date stamps of April 14 and 27 were first discovered by the Danish National Police on May 3. They referred the case to U.S. law enforcement for further investigation.” ICE reports that the videos depict a girl between the ages of 7 and 9 being sexually abused.

The arrest warrant for the suspect was signed on May 10 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. ICE asked for the public’s help in identifying the individual on Wednesday, and a tip led to his arrest shortly thereafter. ICE is withholding the man’s identity and other details surrounding the arrest until the suspect makes his appearance in court.

ICE released the carefully edited photos of the suspect as they believed the girl may still be in danger. Brian Korzak, a special agent with ICE's Cyber Crimes Center Child Exploitation Unit, speaking to CNN, said, “We kind of hit a wall in this investigation. Without the public's help, we may not be able [to find the man] and more importantly stop the ongoing abuse of this victim.”

ICE released photo stills from the videos and authorities were able to determine the suspect’s location based on a bag of pretzels. According to the court documents related to the case, “Agents assigned to the HSI Cyber Crimes Center have determined the packaging is consistent with a commercially sold bag of Rold Gold Thins pretzels. Rold Gold is a Frito-Lay product that is under the Pepsico corporate umbrella. Research conducted of the official Pepsico and Frito-Lay websites revealed that Rold Gold is sold in North America, specifically the United States and Canada. Examination of the Frito-Lay websites for the United States and Canada reveals that Rold Gold pretzels are packaged differently within the United States and Canada.” The law enforcement officials were then able to determine the packaging was exclusive to the United States.

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