Kaufman County Man Admits Possessing and Transporting Child Pornography
Defendant Faces 30 Years in Federal Prison
DALLAS — Billy Wayne Johnson, 55, of Scurry, Texas, appeared Friday in federal court in Dallas, before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater, and pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. According to the terms of the plea agreement, if the Court accepts the plea, the parties agree that the appropriate term of imprisonment is 30 years in federal prison. Johnson, who has been in custody since his arrest in February 2013 on a related federal criminal complaint, also faces up to a $500,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for August 2, 2013, before Judge Fitzwater. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, the investigation began in December 2012 when a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was conducting an undercover investigation to identify persons who were distributing child pornography using peer-to-peer file-sharing and the Internet. The investigation revealed an IP address that was connected to Johnson.
Johnson admitted that he obtained images of child pornography from other peer-to-peer users/members in his private network of contacts, and that he downloaded, viewed and shared images of child pornography. A forensic evaluation of Johnson’s laptop and thumb drive that were seized revealed more than 1600 images and 194 videos of child pornography. Also located on his laptop were lewd and lascivious photographs, as well as a video, that he admitted taking of boys under age six. He further admitted that some of the images and videos he possessed depicted sadistic images of prepubescent minors. He also admitted that he engaged in several chats with other members of his peer-to-peer network in which he and the others discussed their interest in molesting and sexually assaulting children under the age of six.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s 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 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.”
ICE HSI is in charge of the investigation; Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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