FORMER SLATON, TEXAS, POLICE OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
LUBBOCK, Texas — Richard Lee Lewis, 50, of Slaton, Texas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to one count of receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Lewis faces a statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report; a sentencing date will be set after the report is submitted to the Court. Lewis, a former officer in the Slaton Police Department, remains on a personal recognizance bond.
According to documents filed in the case, Lewis admitted that while he lived in Slaton, he used peer-to-peer file-sharing programs to download images and videos, including child pornography, to his computer. On May 11, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at his residence and seized approximately three computers, 80 CDs and 10 VHS tapes. A forensic examination of the computers revealed numerous images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Lubbock Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock, Texas, is prosecuting.
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