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April 3, 2009

LOUISIANA MAN SENT TO PRISON FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CONVICTION

(HOUSTON) - Raymond Charles Fontenot, Jr., 25, from Denham Springs, Louisiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr., to 84 imprisonment for his possession of child pornography conviction, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Fontenot will serve a five-year-term of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence, pay a $3000 fine and register as a sex offender. Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. noted that both Congress and the public consider this a particularly serious offense and that possession fuels the market for these images and the children involved are scarred for life.

The charges against Fontenot were the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Innocent Images squad in the Houston office of the FBI and the Houston Police Department (HPD) who focus their attention on investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children. On April 29, 2008, an ex-girlfriend of Fontenot, received an e-mail from a fictitious address that contained seven images of child pornography. Officers determined the e-mail had been sent from a boat operated by Blessy Marine in Harahan, La., and Blessy Marine was then contacted. Blessy Marine operates tug boats that tow barges along the Gulf coast and provides wireless cards to the boats for wireless Internet access by the crews. Blessy Marine was able to determine e-mail was sent from the M/V Thomas Rollins and that Fontenot was on the boat at the time the e-mail was sent.

In June 2008, officers learned that Fontenot had gotten off a boat in Port Arthur, traveled to Houston and planned to fly back to Louisiana. Agents located Fontenot at the airport in Houston where he admitted he sent the e-mail with the child pornography. Fontenot told the agents he had CDs with child pornography on them and his laptop, which he was carrying, also had child pornography on it. Agents seized the items and later searched them.

A forensic analysis of the computer and CDs revealed 248 images containing child pornography and 69 videos containing child pornography on the laptop computer and 38 videos containing child pornography on CDs. A sampling of the images showed that there were images involving prepubescent females under 12 years old, images involving oral sex and penetration, and videos involving bondage.

Fontenot pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge in November 2008. He has been in federal custody since his arrest in October 2008 and will remain in federal custody in Houston pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe prosecuted the case.

 

 

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