A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin, sitting in Madison, indicted three men Wednesday on child pornography charges, including a 43-year-old DeForest male.

Michael Hinze, of DeForest, is charged with five counts of receiving visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to a press release from the Office of U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader. The indictment alleges Hinze received the child pornography from Sept. 28-30, 2018. The two others are from Madison.

If convicted, Hinze faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on each count. According to the press release, the charges against Hinze are the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, and DeForest Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Altman is handling the prosecution.

The indictments against the three men have been brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

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