CARROLLTON, TEXAS, MAN SENTENCED TO NEARLY 20 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONVICTIONS
DALLAS — Preston Blanton, 45, of Carrollton, Texas, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to serve 235 months in federal prison following his conviction on several child pornography offenses, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Blanton, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in July 2010 on a related charge, must also serve a lifetime of supervised release following his imprisonment.
According to documents filed in the case, Blanton pleaded guilty in September 2010 to all three counts of an indictment charging two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant, on June 29, 2010, the FBI received a report that an individual had observed images of children engaged in sex acts while using a computer at the Blanton residence. When law enforcement executed a search warrant at the residence, they conducted a preliminary search of an external hard drive located in Blanton’s bedroom and located images of child pornography - all of which appeared to depict real minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
At his sentencing hearing yesterday, the government presented evidence that Blanton admitted downloading child pornography since 2001 and in fact, “hoarded it.” Blanton also had stated that he would be unable to account for the volume of images and videos of child pornography that would be located on his various computers and computer-related media at his residence.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Carrollton and Plano Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem was in charge of the prosecution.
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