Garland, Texas, Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison on Child Pornography Convictions
A Lost Cell Phone Launches Investigation That Reveals Defendant’s History of Sexual Exploitation
DALLAS — Calling him a “dangerous person,” U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn sentenced Gary Lee Jackson, 26, to the maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea in December 2011 to one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing more than 1000 images of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. In addition, Judge Lynn ordered that Jackson, who has been in federal custody since his arrest, serve a lifetime of supervised release following his incarceration.
According to documents filed in the case and testimony presented at a sentencing hearing on Friday, the investigation began when an individual reported to the Dallas Police Department in August 2011 that she discovered several images of child pornography on a phone that Jackson had left in her car. Shortly thereafter, officers with the Dallas Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force interviewed Jackson at his home in Garland, Texas. Jackson told officers that he had lost his cell phone several days earlier and that it did have images of child pornography on it. He also admitted that he had photos of child pornography on his computer, which was confirmed by officers when it was searched. Jackson admitted that he has a problem of being attracted to children and that he had been viewing child pornography since he was age 15.
During Jackson’s sentencing hearing, an officer with the Garland Police Department testified that Jackson admitted to him that he had sexually exploited children. The officer testified that when Jackson was a teenager, he convinced a three and a six-year-old to remove their clothing for him. When he was 18, according to the officer, Jackson had sexual relations with a 13-year-old and bragged in a chat room that he had taken her virginity. The officer also testified that Jackson told him that in 2007 an individual named Amber Schmidt, who along with her husband lived with Jackson, “bought” him a 12-year-old female child for his birthday, whom he sexually molested. The officer also testified that Jackson admitted that he molested a five-year-old on three separate occasions in May 2011.
Schmidt was indicted in October 2011 on child pornography offenses and remains in custody. In January 2012, she pleaded guilty to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography. She admitted that she used cell phones and text messaging to send images of child pornography to other individuals, including Jackson. Subpoenaed cell phone records contained chat logs of Schmidt chatting not only with Jackson, but also with others with whom she was trading child pornography. In these chats, she discussed her desire to receive images of young children engaged in sexual behavior. A sentencing date has not been set.
The 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 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The investigation was conducted by the Dallas Police Department’s ICAC, the Garland Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks was in charge of the prosecution.
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