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ANGELA DODGE
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June 6, 2011

FORMER HOUSTON PILOT TO REMAIN IN CUSTODY WITHOUT BOND PENDING TRIAL FOR ALLEGEDLY DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - A Houston resident and former commercial pilot has been ordered to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial on charges of possession, receipt and distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Todd Steven Ewanko, 47, was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on May 25, 2011, with two counts of receipt of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Ewanko was arrested on state charges in July 2010 and transferred to federal custody following the return of the indictment. 

Today, United States Magistrate Judge Mary Milloy granted the government’s motion and ordered Ewanko to remain in federal custody without bond pending trial after Ewanko waived his right to a hearing on the motion. Ewanko has pleaded not guilty to the charges and trial is set for July 18, 2011, before United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.

The federal charges against Ewanko are the result of an investigation conducted by the Precinct Four Harris County Constable’s Office as part of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children task force initiated in or about June 2010 as part of an online investigation into the trafficking of child pornography which resulted in Ewanko’s arrest on state charges.

If convicted of the receipt or distribution of child pornography charges, Ewanko faces a sentence of at least five years up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000. Possession of child pornography carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 upon conviction.Upon completion of any prison term imposed, the defendant also faces a maximum term of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit or limit the use of the Internet.

Ewanko was formerly employed as a pilot for Colgan Air doing business as Continental Connection. 

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), 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, PSC 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, the PSC Coordinator for the district, is prosecuting the case.

An indictment 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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