Prior Sex Offender Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Chad F. Summers, 40, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to receipt of a visual depiction of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Summers will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Summers also will be required to register as a sex offender. The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, Chief Robert W. Shilling of the New Mexico State Police (NMSP), and Chief Ray Schultz of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD).
Summers was arrested on Feb. 12, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he received and possessed child pornography in Bernalillo County, N.M., between Aug. 2012 and Feb. 2013. The complaint also charged Summers with unlawfully possessing a firearm on Feb. 12, 2013. At the time, Summers was prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition because he previously had been convicted of child pornography offenses in an Oregon state court. On March 5, 2013, Summers was indicted and charged with three counts of receipt of child pornography, one count of possession of child pornography, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
During today’s hearing, Summers entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the indictment, charging him with receipt of child pornography. In his plea agreement, Summers acknowledged that HSI, NMSP and APD executed a search warrant at his residence on Feb. 12, 2013 and seized computers and computer-related media. The search warrant was issued based on an undercover investigation by the NMSP that began in Oct. 2012, and targeted individuals who possessed, received and distributed child pornography. The investigation revealed that an IP Address which was subscribed to Summers was being used to offer child pornography images and videos through a peer-to-peer file-sharing program.
Summers acknowledged voluntarily participating in a recorded interview on Feb. 12, 2013, during which he admitted downloading child pornography images of preteens. He also admitted having a prior conviction for child pornography offenses from Oregon. In his plea agreement, Summers acknowledged that a forensic examination of his computers and computer-media uncovered more than 1600 child pornography images and videos.
Summers faced the enhanced penalty of a mandatory minimum 15 year prison sentence because of his prior child pornography conviction. Summers remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Summers will be required to forfeit his computers, computer-media and firearm.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI, NMSP and APD and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Weisman is handling the related forfeiture proceedings.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.