INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One man is in custody after officials charged him with multiple counts of sexual exploitation of a minor following a lengthy investigation.
The investigation into the behavior of 27-year-old Drew Sutherlin began in January 2015 when officials said he posed as a woman on the internet to get sexually explicit images from several boys until May of 2017.
Sutherlin faces federal charges in the case.
“Sexual predators cannot be allowed to take advantage of those most vulnerable in our communities,” said United States Attorney Josh Minkler. “Anyone who takes advantage of our youth will be held strictly accountable and will pay a price for their criminal actions.”
Authorities believe Sutherlin sent pornographic images of a woman to boys in the age range of 14 to 17. There were a total of 15 victims who were involved.
Montgomery County Sheriff Mark Casteel released a statement:
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was proud to work with the our law enforcement partners to help uncover over 14,000 pages of text messages and 17,000 images, the majority of which were sexually explicit in this investigation. We would like to thank the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Cyber Unit, Indiana State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their invaluable expertise and assistance in this investigation.
Sutherlin faces up to 35 years of prison time and a minimum of five years of supervised release if convicted.
He is currently in the custody of U.S. Marshals.