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Oct. 15, 2010

HOUSTON AREA MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) – A 51-year-old Houston resident has pleaded guilty to possessing thousands of images of child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

At a hearing before United States District Judge Melinda Harmon this morning, Marvin Oscar Hunick, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, a charge that resulted from an investigation conducted by the Houston office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI). The ICE-HSI investigation began after agents determined that Hunick had paid for a subscription to a child pornography website using a computer located at his Houston residence. On Nov. 19, 2009, agents executed a federal search warrant at Hunick’s residence seizing several computers as well as printed images of child pornography and CDs containing  child pornography files. During the search, Hunick admitted to having purchased memberships to child pornography websites on at least five occasions.

A forensic examination of the computers and other media resulted in the discovery of approximately 8539 images of child pornography and 799 videos containing child pornography.

Hunick has been in federal custody without bond since his August 2009 arrest following the return of an indictment and will remain in custody pending a sentencing hearing set for Feb. 18, 2011. At that time, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Hunick also faces a maximum life term of supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and limit Hunick’s the use of the Internet.

This case, being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe, 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.

 

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