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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

April 15, 2010

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

MICHIGAN RESIDENT CONVICTED OF TRANSPORTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SENTENCED TO PRISON

(HOUSTON) – William Leroy Ferguson, 56, of Flint, Mich., has been sentenced to 109 months in federal prison and fined $10,000 for transporting  child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas handed down the sentence today which is to be followed by a 10-year-term of supervised release.

Ferguson was headed home to Flint on Oct. 1, 2009, when he arrived in the United States at Bush Intercontinental Airport via a Continental Airlines flight that originated in Colombia. During the course of a regular Customs inspection, images and videos of child pornography were found on a laptop computer in his possession. A forensic examination of the laptop revealed 32 images and 19  videos containing child pornography, some of which included victims under the age of 12 and portrayed sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. On Oct. 14, 2009, ICE agents executed a federal search warrant at the home of Ferguson at which time a hard drive was seized and found to contain an additional 51 images and 188 videos of child pornography. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was sent a copy of the images and videos and found known victims depicted in the images and videos.

Finding there were no conditions or set of conditions under which the court could reasonably ensure the safety of children, U.S. Magistrate Calvin Botley ordered Ferguson held in federal custody without bond following a hearing on Oct. 6, 2009. He has remained in custody since then.

After Ferguson completes his prison term, he will serve a 10-year-term of supervised release during which the court imposed a number of special conditions designed to protect children and restrict his use of the Internet. The court has further ordered Ferguson to register as a sex offender.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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 charges against Ferguson are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber-Crime Operation Predator Squad dedicated to investigating online exploitation of children and child pornography.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Demetrius K. Bivins.

    

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