Federal Grand Jury Indicts Childress, Texas, Man on Child Pornography Charges
LUBBOCK, Texas — A federal grand jury in Lubbock, Texas, returned an indictment today charging Anthony Zane Austin, 20, of Childress, Texas, with one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. It is expected that Austin will surrender to federal authorities, and appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clinton Averitte on September 20, 2012, for his initial appearance.
The indictment alleges that between August 21, 2011, and February 10, 2012, Austin received a depiction of child pornography via the Internet. The indictment further alleges that on April 26, 2012, Austin possessed a thumb drive that contained at least one image of child pornography.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the receipt count carries a statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. The possession count, upon conviction, carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.
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 case is being investigated by U.S. Immigrations 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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