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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Child Porn Sentencing and Plea

Child Porn Sentencing and Plea 

(Pierre) –Two South Dakota men were in court today for possession of child pornography. 

John Mathew Peterson, Watertown, will spend 2 years behind bars and pay $1,000 fine. He was sentenced today by Judge Robert Timm for possession of child pornography. Peterson also received a 14 year suspended sentence. He was arrested in April and pled guilty to eight counts of possession in July. 

David Loren Wagner, Webster, pled guilty to eight counts of possession of child pornography today in front of Judge Jon S. Flemmer. Wagner was arrested in June. Sentencing is scheduled for January 8. 

Both arrests stemmed out of Operation Avalanche. Operation Avalanche was a Texas Law Enforcement investigation of a child pornography website. Texas Law Enforcement forwarded the names of South Dakota residents who subscribed to the site to the South Dakota officials. The leads stemming from Operation Avalanche led to the execution of approximately 20 search warrants and seven arrests in South Dakota. 

“People who indulge in child pornography have a strong propensity to physically act on their urges. It is only a matter of time before a child porn collector victimizes a child,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Larry Long. “This is preventative law enforcement and it is making South Dakota a safer place to raise children.” 

Peterson is the second Operation Avalanche conviction to be sentenced in South Dakota. Mathew Lee Mierkey, Sioux Falls, was the first. He was sentenced on Monday to 60 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.