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Feb. 10, 2009

CONROE RESIDENT INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTING AND POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - A federal grand jury has indicted Josiah Samuel Stevens, of Conroe, for distributing and possessing child pornography, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Stevens, 21, has been charged in a two-count indictment with one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested Stevens on Feb. 9, 2009. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith this morning and was ordered temporarily detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 12 at 10:00 a.m.

The indictment, returned Feb. 4, 2008, accuses Stevens of distributing and possessing child pornography between March 19, 2008, and Aug. 4, 2008.

Stevens faces a mandatory minimum statutory sentence of five years imprisonment up to a maximum of 20 years for distribution of child pornography if convicted on this count. The possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. All counts also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 and a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose 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 launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. 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.

The charges against Stevens are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the ICE Cyber-Crime Operation Predator Squad dedicated to investigating online exploitation of children and child pornography. This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Demetrius K. Bivins.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

 

 

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