Oct. 6, 2009
MICHIGAN MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED FOR TRANSPORTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Court orders defendant held without bond pending further criminal proceedings
(HOUSTON) - William Leroy Ferguson, 55, of Flint, Mich., has been arrested and charged by criminal complaint for allegedly transporting child pornography, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.
Today, following a hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley, Ferguson was ordered held in federal custody without bond based upon the court finding Ferguson had failed to overcome the presumption that he posed a danger to children and the community.
Ferguson was arrested on Oct. 1, 2009, after arriving in the United States at Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston aboard a Continental flight from Colombia. IAH was the international port of entry for Ferguson before his connecting flight to his place of resident in Flint. According to the allegations in a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 2, 2009, following Ferguson’s arrival at IAH and during the course of a regular Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection, CBP officers found a laptop computer among items Ferguson allegedly claimed as his.
After CBP officers discovered images of child pornography on the laptop, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were notified to continue the investigation. ICE agents discovered approximately 15 videos depicting child pornography, including adult males and an adult female engaged in sexual intercourse and oral sex with prepubescent females, according to the complaint.
The offense of transportation of child pornography carries a sentence, upon conviction, of five years up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. The potential sentence also permits a court to impose a maximum life-term of supervised release during which the court may impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet following the completion of any prison term imposed.
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 investigated by CBP and ICE and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Demetrius Bivins.
A criminal complaint 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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