ICE HSI-led investigation results in conviction of North Dakota man for child exploitation, pornography

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BISMARCK — A north central North Dakota man was convicted in federal court Wednesday on numerous counts of child exploitation and one count of receiving child pornography.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, the Ward County Sheriff’s Office, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the North Dakota Human Trafficking Task Force.

Derrick Stephen Walker, 46, of Minot, North Dakota, was found guilty by jury trial of six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, involving six separate minor victims, and one count of receipt of images depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to court records, Walker’s minor victims were identified as two male children aged one, two female children aged one, a male child aged three and a male child aged six.

Walker was specifically found guilty of aiding and abetting his co-defendant, Katie Heidinger of Velva, North Dakota, in the production of images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of the minors. In addition, Walker was found guilty of receiving images depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.

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The investigation also revealed Katie Heidinger was involved in a romantic relationship with Walker and that Heidinger produced and distributed the videos and images, using the internet, at Walker’s request.

Heidinger entered a change of plea to guilty to counts one through six on June 16, 2020 and is currently scheduled for sentencing on March 16. The sentencing date for Walker has not been set.

The case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office, with Assistant United States Attorney Gary Delorme assigned to the case.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of DHS, responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

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Learn more about HSI Bismark at @HSISaintPaul.