Milwaukee, Wisconsin - A previously convicted child pornography offender was sentenced yesterday to 96 months in prison followed by seven years of supervised release for distributing child pornography.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and Special Agent in Charge R. Justin Tolomeo of the FBI’s Milwaukee Field Office, made the announcement.
Christopher Eklund, 47, formerly an English language teacher in China, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman of the Eastern District of Wisconsin on Nov. 2, 2018 to one count of distribution of child pornography.
According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, between approximately Dec. 2014 and July 2015, Eklund advertised and shared thousands of images of child pornography, which was discovered during an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography over an internet file-sharing network. Eklund also used the network to write detailed, sexualized blog posts discussing his affinity for child pornography. FBI agents in Milwaukee reviewed these postings and downloaded several child pornography files that Eklund was sharing over the network.
During the investigation, the FBI learned that Eklund was a U.S. citizen who was living in Wuhan, China, teaching English classes to children. The FBI then provided investigative information to Chinese authorities. In Oct. 2016, after conducting their own investigation, Chinese authorities charged and convicted Eklund for child pornography offenses. In May of 2018, after Eklund was released from prison in China, he was deported to the United States for prosecution.
The case was investigated by the FBI Milwaukee Crimes Against Children Task Force, including participants from the Milwaukee Police Department, West Allis Police Department, Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department, and Milwaukee County Sherriff Department, with the cooperation of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and Public Security Bureau.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ralph Paradiso of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin W. Proctor of the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
This investigation was a 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. 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.