United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of BENJAMIN JOSEPH ROGGENBUCK, 39, to 540 months in prison for production and attempted production of child pornography. ROGGENBUCK, who pleaded guilty on September 17, 2020, was sentenced earlier today before Judge Nancy E. Brasel in U.S. District Court.

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

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

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, between November 2012 and February 2020, ROGGENBUCK used or attempted to use two prepubescent minor children to produce visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct. ROGGENBUCK also admitted to possessing and distributing sexually explicit images depicting prepubescent minors. 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.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and Thief River Falls Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chelsea A. Walcker and Miranda E. Dugi prosecuted the case.

Defendant Information:


Thief River Falls, Minn.


  • Production and attempted production of child pornography, 2 counts


  • 540 months in prison
  • Lifetime of supervised release