REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER IN HUNT COUNTY SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
DALLAS — Donald Means, of Campbell, Texas, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 12 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea in December 2010 to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas (NDTX). In addition, Judge Solis ordered that Means, 63, serve a lifetime of supervised release.
Means has been in custody since his arrest in November 2009 on a related federal criminal complaint. He is a registered sex offender, having been convicted in the Eastern District of Texas in December 2002 on one count each of possession and receipt of child pornography. He was sentenced to serve 54 months in prison, but was released from prison in April 2007. At the time of his offense in the NDTX, Means was on supervised release for those convictions.
According to documents filed in the case, on October 20, 2009, the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with police officers from surrounding cities, was conducting compliance checks of the registered sex offenders residing in their county. At approximately 8:30 p.m. that day, law enforcement from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department, Hunt County Constable’s Office and the Commerce police department arrived at Means’ residence in Campbell. Means signed a consent form allowing officers inside the house to conduct the compliance check. Officers observed a desktop computer in Means’ bedroom and obtained consent from Means to search it. They found concerning images on his computer, and based on the nature of those images, seized his computer for further examination.
The following day a forensic agent with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) examined Means’ computer and found approximately 40 composite (“cut and paste” or “morphed”) image files depicting images of prepubescent females engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Means admitted that he had created the composite images on his computer and stated that the source of the nude adult male images was a computer disk containing adult pornography. He admitted that the images of the prepubescent females in the image files came from pictures of minor females he found in art magazines and/or other advertisements.
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 ICE HSI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa J. Millerx.
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