Former Police Officer From Oklahoma Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Robert Mullen, 60, a former officer with the Lawton, Okla., Police Department who now resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested this morning by Special Agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on a criminal complaint charging him with receiving and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Mullen made his initial appearance in federal court this afternoon and remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning.
According to the criminal complaint, in Aug. 2013, a special agent with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office (NMAGO) identified an IP address that was being used to share files containing child pornography while conducting an investigation targeting those who share child pornography on peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Subsequent investigation revealed that the IP address was subscribed to Mullen at a residential address in west side of Albuquerque.
The criminal complaint states that on Dec. 11, 2013, HSI, the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) and other agencies participating in the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a state search warrant at the residence and seized a computer and computer-related media. A preliminary forensic examination of a computer taken from a bedroom allegedly used by Mullen recovered images and videos consistent with child pornography.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Mullen faces a federal prison term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years. If convicted, Mullen also would be required to register as a sex offender. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI, the NMAGO and the Albuquerque Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Lizarraga as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The Operation also was brought as a part of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the NMAGO. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.