Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Possess Counterfeit Checks and to Possessing Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland - Tyrone Jackson, age 52, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to possess a counterfeit security and possessing child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Baltimore Port Director Jennifer Kelly.
“Customs and Border Protection is pleased that we were able to protect at least 80 potential victims and businesses from severe financial loss these fraudulent bank checks would have caused them,” said Jennifer Kelly, Acting CBP Port Director for the Port of Baltimore. “CBP remains committed to collaborating with our partners in Homeland Security Investigations and intercepting things at our nation’s borders that pose potential threats to the American people, to our economy and to our great nation.”
According to his plea agreement, on December 30, 2010, a parcel addressed to Jackson was intercepted by CBP at Baltimore Washington International Airport. Inside the parcel were 80 envelopes containing counterfeit checks totaling $488,572.50. The next day, ICE HSI agents delivered the parcel to Jackson at his apartment. Jackson admitted that while on the internet, he had previously met a person who had posted an ad from the Philippines. Jackson had responded to the ad, agreeing to accept payment for receiving the parcel and re-mailing the checks in the envelopes contained in the parcel to the people whose names and addresses were printed on the envelopes. ICE HSI agents removed two computer hard drives and 336 pieces of removable computer media from Jackson’s apartment, in order to search for evidence related to the counterfeit checks.
Further investigation revealed that the computer hardware and media contained 327 videos and 779 photos depicting prepubescent minors under the age of 12 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Jackson had downloaded the images from the internet.
As part of his plea agreement, Jackson must register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
Jackson faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy and 10 years in prison for possession of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for March 1, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
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. Details about Maryland’s program are available at www.justice.gov/usao/md/Safe-Childhood/index.html.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form at http://www.ice.gov/exec/forms/hsi-tips/tips.asp. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended ICE Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark W. Crooks, who prosecuted the case.