A former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Carmel resident was arrested on child pornography charges.
Donald J. Sachtleben, 54, has been charged with possessing and distributing child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett announced the criminal charges Monday, stating law enforcement began investigating an individual suspected of trading child pornography online in September 2010. That individual, who resided in Illinois, was arrested in January 2012.
After searching the Illinois suspect’s computer, authorities discovered he was trading material with several other people. Hogsett said law enforcement was able to trace the alleged online activity to Sachtleben’s home in Carmel.
According to court documents, Sachtleben hid behind the email ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and openly traded child porn. In one email he attached nine images of child pornography and child erotica and wrote:
“Saw your profile… Hope you like these and can send me some of (y)ours. I have even better ones if you like.”
Police obtained a search warrant on May 3. During an initial forensic examination of Sachtleben’s laptop computer, approximately 30 images and video files containing child pornography were reportedly discovered. Authorities said several of the files discovered in the search matched files found while investigating the Illinois defendant.
Fox59 spoke with Sachtleben’s wife, Laurie, at their home Monday. She told investigators she had no knowledge of the porn reportedly found on her husband’s computer. She said she would stand by her husband, but would not comment further on the case.
“I’m afraid it’s really too early for us to predict how this is going to go,” said Laurie Sachtleben.
Sachtleben could face up to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years for the possession charge. Both charges carry up to a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervised release if he is convicted.
Hogsett said he was disappointed with Sachtleben, but his arrest proved he is not above the law.
“No matter who they are, no matter who they know, no matter where they come from, the standards are the same,” said Hogsett.
Sachtleben is currently working in the Department of Forensic Sciences at Oklahoma State University and has been an employee since October of 2011. The university declined to comment on the case at this time.
In 2008, Sachtleben retired from the FBI as a special agent bomb technician. According to OSU’s website, Sachtleben spent 25 years with the FBI, specializing in counter-terrorism and bombing investigations.
Sachtleben is expected to appear in court on Thursday.