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Dec. 3, 2009

CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER GOES TO PRISON FOR POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - Thomas David Hogan, 47, of  Houston, has been sentenced today to 12 years in prison without parole to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release for possessing child pornography, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Hogan pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on May 7, 2009. Hogan was initially arrested in June 2008 following an investigation conducted by the Houston office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and has remained in custody awaiting his sentencing. He will remain in the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending his transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future to serve his sentence. United States District Judge Keith P. Ellison handed down the sentence today and includes the court’s consideration of Hogan’s past criminal history which includes a 1982 rape conviction in Montgomery County, Texas.

The investigation ultimately leading to the charges against Hogan was initiated in October 2005 when ICE agents in New Jersey found an illegal child pornography (CP) website and an undercover agent purchased a membership to the site. The day after purchasing the membership, the agent received an e-mail which provided him with a login ID and password. Agents entered the site and discovered it contained thousands of images of child pornography. 

Agents determined the credit card charges to the child pornography website were processed through a company in Carrollton, Texas. In September 2006, a search warrant was executed at the Carrollton business by ICE-Newark agents and agents from Dallas. As a result of the search, agents identified additional purchases to the child pornography website which contained the subject’s name, address and credit card number. Among the collected information was information entered by an individual identified as Thomas Hogan with a Houston mailing address. Agents learned Hogan made purchases in March and April 2006 and also determined his e-mail address.

ICE agents in the Houston office executed a federal search warrant at Hogan’s Houston residence in November 2007, at which time three computers and 34 CDs were seized. A forensic analysis found two of the computers contained approximately 339 videos and 3394 images of child pornography.  The images involved the depiction of prepubescents under the age of 12, images involving oral sex and penetration and two videos involving bondage. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was sent a copy of the images possessed by Hogan and found images of known victims.

In addition to the 144-month prison term, Hogan was also sentenced to a lifetime term of supervised release during which the court imposed a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet.

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 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 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 case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe.

 

 

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