Halethorpe Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography
Baltimore, Maryland - Frank Robert Tucker, Jr., age 50, of Halethorpe, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; and Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department.
According to the plea agreement, Tucker used a publicly available peer to peer file sharing program, and made images and videos available for other users of the program to download via the internet. On December 28, 2009, an investigator with the Maryland State Police accessed the peer to peer network and found that Tucker had 89 video files, most of the names of which were consistent with child pornography, available for download. The investigator downloaded five video files from Tucker’s computer. Three of the downloaded files contained visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
On April 14, 2010, Maryland State Police searched Tucker’s residence. Over 600 images of child pornography were found on a computer and the external hard drive, including sadistic conduct or other depictions of violence. The external hard drive contained at least 43 videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
As part of his plea agreement, Tucker 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).
Tucker faces a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison followed by up to lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar has scheduled sentencing for January 13, 2012 at 1:00 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.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Maryland State Police, ICE- HSI and Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Budlow, who prosecuted the case.