FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTS GARLAND, TEXAS RESIDENTS ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
Defendants Allegedly Sent Text Messages Containing Images of Child Pornography to Each Other
DALLAS — A federal grand jury in Dallas returned indictments yesterday charging Amber Schmidt, 24, of Garland, Texas, and Gary Lee Jackson, 26, also of Garland, with various felony child pornography offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Both Schmidt and Jackson are presently in state custody.
Specifically, one indictment charges Schmidt with two counts of transporting child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Another indictment charges Jackson with two counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography. The indictments allege that they used cell phones and text messaging to send images of child pornography to each other.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each of the transportation counts and each of the receipt counts carries a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Each of the possession counts carry a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. In addition, if convicted, Schmidt and Jackson will also be required to register as a sex offender.
These cases were 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The cases are being investigated by the Dallas Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Garland Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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