Former Police Officer From Oklahoma Pleads Guilty to Distributing and Possessing Child Pornography
ALBUQUERQUE – Robert Mullen, 60, a former officer with the Lawton, Okla., Police Department who now resides in Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to distribution and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Mullen was arrested on Dec. 17, 2013, 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. On Jan. 15, 2014, Mullen was indicted and charged with distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography. The indictment alleged that Mullen committed these two offenses between Aug. 2013 and Dec. 2013, in Bernalillo County, N.M. During today’s proceedings, Mullen entered a guilty plea to both counts of the indictment
According to court filings, 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.
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 used by Mullen recovered images and videos consistent with child pornography.
Mullen has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Mullen faces a federal prison sentence of not less than five years and not more than 20 years. Mullen will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI, the NMAGO, APD and other agencies affiliated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force. The case 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 case 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 74 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.