Keller, Texas, Man Arrested and in Federal Custody for Possessing Child Pornography
FORT WORTH, Texas — Keller, Texas, resident, Marco A. Flores, 19, was arrested this morning by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on the federal felony offense of possessing child pornography, as outlined in a criminal complaint filed yesterday, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Flores remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing set for Wednesday, April 4, 2012, before U.S. Magistrate Jeffrey L. Cureton in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth.
According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, the investigation began when an officer with the Fort Worth Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit, while acting in an undercover capacity and using a file-sharing software, downloaded video files and still images of child pornography from an IP address assigned to a residence in Keller. Agents executed a search warrant at the residence and several computers were seized. Marco Flores, who lived in the residence, admitted using file-sharing software, but initially denied involvement with child pornography. However, a forensic examination of the evidence identified files containing child pornography and Marco Flores admitted possessing child pornography.
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, Marco Flores faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 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, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
ICE HSI and the Fort Worth Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.
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