Childress, Texas, Man Admits Possessing Child Pornography
AMARILLO, Texas — Anthony Zane Austin, 20, of Childress, Texas, appeared in federal court in Amarillo, Texas, this morning and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Austin was remanded into custody. While a sentencing date was not set today, Austin faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
According to plea documents filed in the case, Austin installed file-sharing programs on computers in his residence and then used the programs to download pornographic images and videos, which included child pornography, onto those computers. He then copied the sexually explicit images onto a thumb drive to save them.
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."
The investigation is being conducted by 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, is in charge of the prosecution.
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