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July 7, 2009

VICTORIA RESIDENT SENTENCED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY AND FIREARMS CHARGES

(VICTORIA, Texas) – Turner Cornell Mooneyham, 58, of Victoria, has been sentenced for violations of various federal firearms statutes as well as possession and receipt of child pornography, United  States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Mooneyham pleaded guilty to the firearms charges on Dec. 31, 2008, and the child pornography charges on March 10, 2009. The sentencing was handed down yesterday by U.S. District Judge John D. Rainey.

Judge Rainey stated there were many factors to be considered in sentencing this unusual case – foremost, the protection of the public. The firearms violations included false statements during the purchase of firearms, for which Mooneyham was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison; smuggling goods (firearms and ammunition) from the United States to Mexico, for which he was sentenced to 120 months; transporting firearms from Texas to Mexico, for which he received 120 months; and dealing in firearms without a firearms license, for which he was sentenced to 60 months. The prison terms will be followed by three years supervised release. Judge Rainey stated that he found the sheer volume of guns (in excess of 550 firearms) which Mooneyham had smuggled into and sold in Mexico to be disturbing, noting that these firearms could be used by criminals for numerous crimes, including assassinations.

When addressing the child pornography charges, the court noted the importance of trying to deter the defendant as well as others from possessing and distributing child pornography, expressing its concern for the extreme damage caused to the individuals who were the victims of child pornography. Mooneyham was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison and three years supervised release for possession of child pornography, which included at least 10 videos which were downloaded from the Internet and a homemade video of the defendant and a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Lastly, Mooneyham was sentenced to 220 months for the receipt of child pornography videos downloaded from Limewire and will spend the rest of his life on supervised release for this offense.

All of the sentences in this case will run concurrently. In addition to the prison sentences and terms of supervised release, the defendant will be required to attend sex offender counseling and to register as a sex offender in the sex offender registry. Mooneyham may not own or have access to any device connected to the Internet and must remain at least 100 feet away from schools, parks and other recreational areas where children assemble. Judge Rainey noted that he had been struggling with this case since it was filed.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carol K. Wheeler.

 

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