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May 23, 2011

HOUSTON ATTORNEY PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - William George Gammon, 50, a Houston attorney, has been convicted by U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes of possession of child pornography after pleading guilty to the federal felony offense, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

Gammon appeared before Judge Hughes today and entered his guilty plea admitting that on Nov. 20, 2009, he possessed child pornography he obtained via the Internet from a child pornography website. The charges against Gammon are the result of an investigation conducted by the Houston office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Judge Hughes has set sentencing for Aug. 22, 2011, at which time he faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Gammon 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.

The HSI investigation leading to the charges was initiated after the HSI Cybercrimes Center identified a commercial child pornography website in November 2008 which an undercover agent accessed and paid to join. Agents then obtained and executed a federal search warrant on the server and recovered log files which included e-mail addresses of subscribers. One of the user’s e-mail addresses was linked to Gammon. In February 2009, agents executed a second federal search warrant on the server and recovered additional updated log files. Once again, one of the user’s e-mail addresses was linked to Gammon.

In November 2009, agents executed a federal search warrant at Gammon’s Houston residence. Gammon, a practicing civil attorney, was present at the time of the search. Gammon admitted to agents that he recognized the name of the child pornography website and to having purchased a membership to the website. Agents seized two of Gammon’s laptops as well as Gammon’s personal notes in a notepad pertaining to child pornography websites he had secured which he kept in a locked safe at his home. A forensic exam of Gammon’s laptop computers resulted in the discovery of more than 600 images and videos of child pornography.

On bond since his arrest in June 2010 following the return of an indictment, Gammon will remain on bond pending sentencing.

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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