Hoopeston man charged for trafficking child porn featuring children under six years old

PEORIA, Ill. – A Hoopeston, Ill., man, Dalton M.C. Burmeister, 27, has been indicted on charges of child sexual exploitation and trafficking of child pornography. The indictment alleges that in September 2020, Burmeister exploited children under the age of six to engage in sexual activity and to create an image of the conduct and that he trafficked images of child pornography.

Burmeister was previously charged by criminal complaint and was arrested on Dec. 22, 2020. U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long ordered that Burmeister remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

If convicted, the statutory penalty for each count of child sexual exploitation (four counts) is 15 to 30 years in prison; for distribution (three counts) and receiving (one count) child pornography, the penalty is five to 20 years in prison. For possession of child pornography (one count), the statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson represents the government in the prosecution. The charges are the result of investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

The case was brought as 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 the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (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.  F