Man Sentenced for Advertising and Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material on Dark Web

Man Sentenced for Advertising and Distributing Child Sexual Abuse Material on Dark Web

An Oklahoma man was sentenced yesterday to 21 years and 10 months in prison for advertising and distributing child sexual abuse material.

According to court documents, Austen Peppers, 36, of Lawton, sold and offered to sell images of minors being sexually abused.

Peppers conducted the transactions on the dark web with cryptocurrency, and used platforms and applications that he believed were secure and protected him from law enforcement scrutiny.

Peppers also engaged in sexually explicit communications with persons believed to be minors and encouraged those apparent minors to create sexually explicit images of themselves.

Peppers amassed thousands of images and videos of children being sexually abused.

Peppers was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $11,200 and restitution totaling $57,000 to his victims.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M.

Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.


Attorney Phillip A.

Talbert for the Eastern District of California made the announcement.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Fresno, Chicago, and Oklahoma, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigated the case, with assistance from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Tactical Team.

Trial Attorney James E.

Burke IV of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.


Attorney David Gappa for the Eastern District of California prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department.

Led by U.


Attorneys’ 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, please visit www.



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