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July 8, 2011

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Navy JAG Attorney Sentenced for Receiving/Distributing Child Pornography

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Mark Tilford, 44, has been sentenced to 125 months in federal prison for his convictions of receiving and distributing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. Tilford, who at the time of his indictment and arrest was an active duty Navy JAG Lt. Commander, pleaded guilty on March 17, 2011.

At the time of his guilty plea Tilford acknowledged that in July 2010, a detective with the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD), while acting in an undercover capacity, conducted an investigation into the online activities of persons distributing child pornography via peer to peer software. On July 26, 2010, the detective downloaded multiple files of child pornography traced to a computer at Mark Tilford’s residence. As a result, a federal search warrant obtained by federal agents was executed on Tilford’s Corpus Christi home on Oct. 1, 2010. Agents seized several computers and other electronic storage devices. Subsequent forensic analysis of those devices led to the discovery of 266 images and 98 videos of suspected child pornography on two computers, many of which have been identified as containing known victims by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. 

Tilford has been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 5, 2011, by Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), where he will remain pending his transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

In sentencing Tilford to the 125-month term of imprisonment, Senior United States District Judge Janis Graham Jack stressed the need to protect the public from Tilford and to discourage others from engaging in similar behavior. Judge Jack also sentenced Tilford to a lifetime term of supervised release and ordered Tilford to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life. Judge Jack also ordered Tilford to pay $100,000 restitution to his victim. 
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, 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