A Belleville man was found guilty Tuesday in federal court of producing child pornography.
Joseph E. Suggs, 41, was convicted on two counts of producing child pornography and one count of attempted production of child pornography, according to Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois James L. Porter.
Porter said evidence showed that Suggs approached a 13-year-old and a 16-year-old in Bellevue Park on June 6, 2014, and offered them money in exchange for nude photos. Suggs was arrested by the Belleville Police Department.
A review of a camera Suggs possessed at the time of his arrest showed photos of the 16-year-old’s genitalia, according to Porter.
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Sentencing is set for Sept. 8, and Suggs faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.
According to the press release, the case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
The investigation was conducted by the Belleville Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service Criminal Investigative Division. The case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. attorneys Laura Reppert and Angi Scott.