RED OAK, TEXAS, RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CHILD PORNOGRAPHY OFFENSE
Child Pornography Discovered on Man’s Cell Phone That He Left at a Gas Station
DALLAS — Scott Tartan, 32, pleaded guilty today, before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater, to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Most recently a resident of Red Oak, Texas, Tartan faces a statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Tartan has been in custody since his arrest in late January 2012. Sentencing is set for May 28, 2012.
According to documents filed in the case, on January 3, 2012, an individual found a cell phone on top of a gas pump at a gas station in Lancaster, Texas. After looking at the contents on the phone and discovering what appeared to be child pornography, the individual turned the phone in to the Lancaster Police Department. Examination of the phone by the Lancaster Police Department revealed that there were several text messages, containing images of children and infants engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults, between the cell phone and others people. Further investigation revealed that the phone was registered to Tartan.
A forensic analyst with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also examined the phone and found multiple images of child pornography. On January 20, 2012, officers with the Lancaster Police Department and special agents with the U.S. Secret Service executed a search warrant at the home in Red Oak where Tartan resided. Tartan admitted that he had been receiving and sending images of child pornography on his cell phone for approximately six months and that he’d used a social network to find people with whom to exchange child pornography. He admitted that he possessed images of sadistic acts involving minors.
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 (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the Lancaster Police Department and ICE HSI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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