TARRANT COUNTY MAN ARRESTED FOR PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Defendant Ordered Detained
FORT WORTH, Texas — Timothy E. Whitington, 44, of Euless, Texas, was arrested last week on a federal criminal complaint charging production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. Today, Whitington, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton, who ordered him detained pending further court proceedings.
According to the affidavit filed with the complaint and testimony presented at today’s detention hearing, a federal search warrant was executed at Whitington’s residence on December 27, 2010, by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Whitington was home at the time. Agents advised Whitington that he was free to leave, but Whitington stated, with his head in his hands, “You are here for the bad stuff.” Whitington directed agents to a USB thumb drive in a wooden box, told agents the images were encrypted and provided agents with the encryption key allowing them to view the contents of the thumb drive.
During the forensic preview, agents found numerous images of child pornography depicting an 11-year-old victim.
A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted of this offense, however, Whitington faces a statutory sentence of not less than 15 years or more than 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. The U.S. Attorney’s office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.
This matter 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 U.S. 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The matter is being investigated by HSI and the Euless Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis is in charge of the prosecution.
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