Michigan Man Living in the Philippines Charged with Child Exploitation Offenses

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Jason J. Molina, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), today announced that JASON KELLER, 34, originally of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, has been charged in a two-count indictment with child enticement and child pornography offenses.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in September 2018, Keller, using the moniker “Eddie Buttered Toast,” contacted a 14-year-old female in Connecticut and claimed he was a 17-year-old boy from Chicago.  At the time, Keller was living in the Philippines.  Keller then sent the minor victim a series of grooming emails that eventually coaxed the minor victim into sending photos of herself engaged in sexually explicit conduct to Keller.  Some of the emails Keller sent to the minor victim included sexually explicit images of himself.

On December 19, 2018, a grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging Keller with one count of enticement of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, and one count of receipt of child pornography.  Keller was located and arrested in the Philippines in June 2019.  He was subsequently removed from the Philippines and returned to the U.S. on December 12, 2019.

On January 9, 2020, Keller appeared in New Haven federal court for a bond hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector, who ordered Keller detained pending trial.

If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Keller faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.

U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Marshals Service, International Investigations Branch, with the assistance of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration, Fugitive Search Unit.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Clark.

U.S. Attorney Durham thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for its assistance in this matter.

This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.