Mesquite, Texas, Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
DALLAS — Mesquite, Texas, resident, Samuel William Maines, 21, was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 10 years in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release, following his guilty plea in July 2012 to one count of possession of child pornography. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, in March 2012, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working in an undercover capacity and using a file-sharing software, identified a computer sharing images of child pornography. The agent noticed that of the 1200 files available for download, most of the files had names indicative of child pornography. After downloading some of these files and verifying that they included images of child pornography, a search warrant was executed at Maines’s home in Mesquite, where agents seized a generic, self-built computer with two hard drives from his bedroom. A forensic analysis of the computer revealed not only the images that the special agent had downloaded, but more than 900 videos and 1200 images of child pornography, with some depicting bondage and sadism. Maines admitted that he built the computer and that he was the only one who operated it.
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 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 was in charge of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks prosecuted.
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