THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. — A Thief River Falls, Minn., man has been sentenced to 45 years in federal prison for producing child pornography.

Benjamin Joseph Roggenbuck, 39, also was sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release. He pleaded guilty to producing and attempting to produce child porn in September.

“The sentence handed down today ensures that this predator will no longer pose a threat or cause harm to innocent children,” U.S. Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said in a statement. “I commend our law enforcement partners who stand with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in our fight against child exploitation.”

According to a release sent by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Roggenbuck used or attempted to use two prepubescent children to create sexually explicit conduct between November 2012 and February 2020. Court documents also state that Roggenbuck knowingly distributed pornography depicting a prepubescent child, and that he knowingly possessed pornography depicting prepubescent children engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

As part of the plea agreement, Roggenbuck also pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges brought by the Pennington County Attorney’s Office, according to the release.

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“While 45 years in prison is appropriate for this case, these children are now permanent victims of a crime no person should ever experience,” Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans said in a statement. “The BCA will continue to pursue criminals who would exploit Minnesota’s children in this terrible way and bring them to justice.”