DOJ SealDepartment of Justice

United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2007                                            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
WWW.USDOJ.GOV/USAO/txe                                                      PHONE: (409) 839-2538
                                                                                                            CELL: (409) 553-9881
                                                                                                    

SHERIFF'S DEPUTY GUILTY OF POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

            TYLER, TX - United States Attorney John L. Ratcliffe announced today that a 36-year-old former Rusk County Sheriff's deputy has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography in the Eastern District of Texas.

KENNETH CALVIN MARTIN, of Henderson, pleaded guilty to possession of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors today before United States Magistrate Judge John Love.

U.S. Attorney Ratcliffe said, "It's unfortunate when those sworn to uphold the law engage in criminal activity of any nature.  Today's guilty plea underscores our commitment to prosecute anyone and everyone involved in the sexual exploitation of a child."

According to evidence presented in court by prosecutors, on April 30, 2007, a Rusk County Deputy Sheriff discovered multiple files containing material involving the sexual exploitation of minors on a laptop computer within a patrol vehicle.  The deputy contacted his supervisor and an investigation revealed that on November 27, 2006 Martin, who was employed as a Rusk County Deputy Sheriff, had used the laptop computer to access the internet using a wireless card installed in the computer and downloaded the material.  A federal search warrant was then executed at Martin's Rusk County residence on May 2, 2007.  Forensic analysis of the laptop in the patrol vehicle and Martin's personal computer from his residence revealed a total of 23 digital images and 12 video clips involving minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.    
           
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC).  In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protest children from online exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims.  For information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.

Martin faces up to ten years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing.  A sentencing date has not been set.  

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Longview Police Department and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregg A. Marchessault.
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