TEXAS MAN WITH CULLMAN TIES PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
HUNTSVILLE – A former resident of Cullman County who was investigated in connection with the disappearance and murder of a Vermont girl in 2008, pleaded guilty today in federal court to possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Special Agent in Charge Patrick Maley announced.
RAYMOND ALFRED GAGNON, 42, of San Antonio, Texas, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. to the one-count indictment returned in 2008. The indictment charged GAGNON with possessing a computer and related media containing images of child pornography.
A Vermont man, Michael Jacques, is charged with the child’s murder in federal court in Vermont.
As part of GAGNON’S plea hearing in Huntsville, the government presented facts establishing that in the summer of 2008, GAGNON was part of an ongoing investigation regarding the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl who was last seen at a convenience store in Vermont. The girl was later found murdered and buried in a shallow grave. During the initial investigation, GAGNON admitted that after he learned of the disappearance of the Vermont girl, he flew from San Antonio to Vermont by way of Cullman.
GAGNON owns a house in Cullman. The charges he pleaded guilty to today involve child pornography found on a computer and related media at the Cullman residence. Gagnon admitted to possessing those computers.
GAGNON also admitted that while in Cullman, he went to the Cullman Public Library to attempt to access the missing girl’s MySpace account and Amber Alert information. He further admitted to engaging in sexually explicit contact with a different minor girl in Vermont.
During the investigation, GAGNON instructed an acquaintance to dispose of a safe in his San Antonio residence. GAGNON stated that the safe contained a laptop computer that was used to access the missing Vermont girl’s MySpace page, and which contained vast amounts of child pornography he had downloaded from the Internet. GAGNON admitted to possessing sexual images of children as young as five years old.
“The facts of this case remind us how people who are interested in sexually exploiting children put a high value on child pornography collections,” Vance said. “Gagnon maintained residences in two states and had child pornography at both residences. These people threaten our children and must be taken off the streets,” she said.
In 2008, as part of the investigation, a federal grand jury in Texas indicted GAGNON for transporting child pornography. He pleaded guilty to that offense and was sentenced to almost 17 years in prison.
GAGNON is scheduled for sentencing in the Alabama case Sept. 22. He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He has remained in custody since his arrest in 2008.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Stuart Burrell is prosecuting the government’s case.
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