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VICE PRESIDENT OF SEARCY BANK INDICTED IN FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CASE

January 4, 2011

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, announced today that Tom Mueller, age 45, was indicted for Possession of Child Pornography.

On August 13, 2010, an individual acquainted with Mueller reported to the Searcy Police Department that Tom Mueller had file names on his computer that were indicative of child pornography. The individual gave authorities a disc he had made by copying files from a computer Mueller used onto a CD. He confronted Mueller a few days after making the CD and Mueller admitted that he had an addiction to child pornography. Mueller agreed to get counseling and to have no unsupervised contact with minors.

A search warrant was executed on the Mueller residence on August 23, 2010, and two laptop computers were seized. A forensic analysis of the computer conducted by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory revealed that both laptops contained images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and that Mueller had accessed the file sharing program, Limewire, to view and save child pornography images. At the time of the search, Mueller was Vice-President of First Southern Bank.

This case was investigated by the Searcy Police Department. Marsha Clevenger is prosecuting this case for the United States.

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 United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

An indictment contains only allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Christopher R. Thyer

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