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JURY FINDS PLANO, TEXAS MAN GUILTY OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY VIOLATIONS
PLANO, Texas - A federal jury has convicted a 34-year-old Plano, Texas man of child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Travis Hunter Blank was found guilty on June 22, 2011, of transportation and possession of child pornography following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Richard Schell.
According to information presented in court, Blank used his America Online account to send a video clip depicting a nude minor male engaged in sexually explicit conduct with an adult male. At trial, prosecutors presented testimony from an America Online representative discussing steps America Online and other internet service providers have taken to assist law enforcement in identifying individuals who use the internet to commit child exploitation offenses. The jury also heard from the investigators in the case, as well as a computer forensic expert who described how he recovered the images of child pornography that were found on Blank's personal computer.
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.
Blank faces up to 20 five years in prison for the transportation charge and up to 10 years in federal prison for the possession charge. A sentencing date has not been set.
The case was investigated by the Plano Police Department, the Dallas Police Department, the Collin County Sheriff's Office, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations ICE/HSI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mandy Griffith and Glenn Roque-Jackson.