Picayune man pleads guilty to child exploitation

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 16, 2019

A Picayune man pleaded guilty to producing images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct on August 7 in federal court, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The release states that Dannie Curlee, Jr., 46, of Picayune, produced images of a minor engaging in sexual conduct in February of 2017, and was indicted in April 2019.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police along with Homeland Security Investigations in Vancouver and Mississippi identified Curlee’s username on the instant messaging app “Kik”, where he and other people posted images and videos of the sexual exploitation of children, according to the press release.

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The investigation identified an IP address linked to Curlee, which led to the execution of a federal search warrant of his Picayune residence in July 2018, the release states.

In an interview, Curlee admitted to producing the illegal images of a minor, according to the press release.

Homeland Security Investigations Border Enforcement Security Task Force investigated the case with assistance from the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office, according to the press release.

“This is just a good example of working with our federal agencies to make sure we get predators like this off the streets of our county,” said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

The local department has worked with federal agencies on similar cases previously, Tucker said.

“There are times where their case leads them to a predator in our county and we’re always available to assist with any case they have, but particularly those, because we don’t’ want those predators here,” Tucker said. “It’s just a danger to our kids.”

Curlee will be sentenced on November 14 in Gulfport by Senior U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the press release.

The case is part of the Department of Justice’s nationwide initiative Project Safe Childhood, which uses federal, state and local resources to arrest and prosecute people who exploit children using the Internet, according to the press release.