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March 10, 2009

VICTORIA RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

(VICTORIA, Texas) – Turner Cornell Mooneyham, 58, of Victoria, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and to receipt of child pornography, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. The guilty plea was entered today as the government prepared to enter its second day of testimony in the trial of this case. Instead, Mooneyham appeared before Judge John D. Rainey and informed the court of his desire to plead guilty to both counts alleged in the Indictment.
           
Count one charges Mooneyham with possession of child pornography, which included at least 10 videos downloaded from the Internet using Limewire, a peer-to-peer sharing program. The videos ranged in length from five minutes to more than three hours. The possession count also included a homemade video of the defendant and a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct as well as still images taken during that conduct. The charges arise from a June 2007 search of Mooneyham’s Victoria residence, at which time several items were collected, including a computer later found to contain numerous videos and still images of child pornography.

The second count charges Mooneyham with receipt of one of the child pornography videos downloaded from Limewire. That video, which was produced in Kentucky, involved two 14-year-old minors using a webcam. That video was then loaded onto a computer, which was used by the minors at a computer game convention a few weeks later. As a result, the video was shown on the large screen in the center of the convention center and has now been downloaded via Limewire to several thousand individual computers.

Mooneyham is set to be sentenced on June 1, 2009 and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment for the possession of child pornography conviction. The receipt of child pornography conviction carries a sentence of not less than five years nor more than 20 years imprisonment. Each of the two counts of conviction also carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and a lifetime term of supervised release during which conditions intended to protect children can be imposed including registry as a sex offender, limits or prohibitions against unsupervised contacts with minors and the use of the internet. On the same date, Mooneyham will also be sentenced for transporting firearms from Texas to Mexico, smuggling goods (firearms and ammunition) from the United States and dealing in firearms without a firearms license, all federal felony offenses to which he pleaded guilty in December 2008. The search of Mooneyham’s computer seized in June 2007 also produced documentation of his illegal firearms dealing.

The investigation leading to charges against Mooneyham was conducted by special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco , Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carol K. Wheeler.

 

 

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