Mesquite, Texas, Man Remains in Federal Custody for Possessing Child Pornography
DALLAS — Mesquite, Texas, resident, Samuel William Maines, 21, remains in federal custody on a possession of child pornography charge outlined in a federal criminal complaint filed yesterday, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
The investigation began when law enforcement, conducting an undercover operation and using a file-sharing software, downloaded files containing images and videos of child pornography from an IP address assigned to Samuel Maines’ mother in Mesquite, Texas. In furtherance of the investigation, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), executed a search warrant at the residence. During the search, law enforcement seized a home-built computer and two hard drives that were located in Maines’ bedroom. After a preliminary forensic examination of the equipment was conducted the same day and images of child pornography were located, Maines was arrested.
According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, after the computer equipment was seized, Maines admitted that he built the computer and that he was the only one who operated it.
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, Maines 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
ICE HSI is in charge of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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