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VERNON PARISH MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DOWNLOADING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2013

LAFAYETTE, La. – U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that Francis M. Buckner Jr., 41, of New Llano, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik to possession of child pornography.

According to evidence presented at the guilty plea, Buckner admitted to possessing 36 videos and 144 images of child pornography.  Law enforcement officers identified the defendant as a collector of child pornography involving young children.  He used Limewire, a software sharing program, to download the child pornography.  A search warrant was obtained for his residence, and the investigation revealed that Buckner had downloaded sadistic material depicting bondage and other sexually explicit scenes involving prepubescent children onto his computer.  The defendant admitted he had been downloading child pornography at the time of his arrest.

Buckner faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.  A sentencing date has not been set.  The Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney John Luke Walker is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Homeland Security Investigations/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at (866) DHS-2ICE.  Investigators are available at all hours to answer hotline calls.  Tips or other information can also be submitted to ICE online at www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp and to the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be reported anonymously.  The Lafayette FBI office number is (337) 233-2164.

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