May 7, 2009
CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
(HOUSTON) – Thomas David Hogan, 47, a convicted sex offender, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and faces no less than 10 years in federal prison without parole and up to a lifetime term of supervised release, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Hogan pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge today before U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison. He has been in custody without bond since his arrest in June 2008 and remain in custody pending sentencing .
The charge against Hogan is the result of an investigation conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that was initiated in October 2005. ICE agents in New Jersey found an illegal child pornography website for which an undercover agent purchased a membership. Thereafter, the agent received an e-mail providing him a user ID and password. Upon entering the site, the agent discovered it contained thousands of images of child pornography.
Through further investigation, agents determined the credit card charges to the child pornography website were processed through a company in Carrollton, Texas, and in September 2006 a search warrant was executed at that business by ICE agents from New Jersey and Texas. As a result of the search, agents identified additional purchases to the child pornography website and obtained identification information. Among the collected information was information entered by an individual identified as Thomas Hogan with a Houston mailing address who had made purchases in March and April 2006.
ICE agents in the Houston office obtained and 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 of the computers resulted in the discovery of approximately 339 videos and 3394 images containing images of child pornography on two of the computers. A sampling of the images discovered depicted images of oral sex on and penetration of pre-pubescent children under 12 years of age and two videos involving bondage. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was sent a copy of the images and found images of known victims depicted in the images.
Because of a previous rape conviction in 1982 in Montgomery County, Texas, Hogan faces no less than 10 years in federal prison. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Hogan also faces up to a lifetime term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit his use of the Internet. Sentencing is set for July 29, 2009.
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 DOJ 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe is prosecuting the case.
# # #