(BENTON, IL) — Donald S. Boyce, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that Christopher Edward Pendegraft, 57, was sentenced Friday, June 23, 2017, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to 24 months in federal prison, five years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $375 fine, restitution of $2,000, and $5,100 in special assessments for possession of child pornography. Pendegraft will also have to register as a sex offender. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.” The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Laura V. Reppert.