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April 9, 2010

HUMBLE AREA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO RECEIVING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - Larry Don Tillis, 47, of Humble, Texas, has been convicted of receiving child pornography via the Internet, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Tillis entered his plea of guilty resulting in his conviction in federal court today before U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr.

The investigation leading to the charges and Tillis’ conviction today is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI. On July 9, 2009, an FBI agent conducted an online undercover session using Limewire software to download child pornography from another peer-to-peer user. During the undercover session, the agent downloaded 26 image files from a computer later identified as being used by Tillis. The files were reviewed and 24 of those were believed to contain child pornography, some of which included minor females involved in bestiality and engaging in sexual activity with adult males.

On Sept. 4, 2009, agents from the FBI Houston Cyber-Crimes Task Force Squad executed a search warrant at Tillis’ residence in Humble. At that time, it was discovered that Tillis is a registered sex offender based on a 1993 conviction for aggravated sexual assault of a child. A preliminary review of the forensically analyzed hard drive seized from Tillis’s residence resulted in the discovery of images and videos containing child pornography.

Tillis was arrested on the federal charges in September 2009 and has remained in federal custody since that arrest. Because of his prior conviction, Tillis faces a sentence of at least 15 years up to 40 years imprisonment for receipt of child pornography and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment. Tillis also faces 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. Sentencing is set for July 16, 2010.

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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe is prosecuting the case.

 

 

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