News and Press Releases


January 24, 2012

AMARILLO, Texas — Todd Wayne Ellis, 44, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release, following his guilty plea in October 2011 to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Ellis has been in custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint by FBI agents in September 2011.

According to documents filed in the case, in May 2011, a special agent with the FBI, working in an undercover capacity investigating the distribution of child pornography, identified a computer that was using a peer-to-peer program to share images of child pornography. The undercover agent downloaded 32 files, many with names indicative of child pornography, from the shared folder of an individual, later determined to be Ellis. The investigation revealed that 21 of those files depicted child pornography.

Ellis was home when FBI agents executed a federal search warrant at his residence in Amarillo on September 7, 2011, and admitted that he had used peer-to-peer sites frequently and was online during the same time period that the agent was online in the peer-to-peer site. Ellis further admitted that he received, and made available to others through file-sharing sites, images of child pornography involving minors from toddlers to older children.

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

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy L. Drake of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Amarillo.



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