News and Press Releases

Houston Resident Enters Guilty Pleas on Child Pornography Charges

Nov. 4, 2011

HOUSTON – Michael Johnathan Radcliff, 45, has pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Radcliff pleaded guilty to one count on each of the charges just a short while ago before U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon.

The investigation began when agents with the FBI in Dallas were conducting an undercover investigation into persons making child pornography available online. At that time, agents came across an individual in Houston sharing child pornography using peer-to-peer file sharing software. The matter was then transferred to Houston and the FBI Innocent Images Task Force continued the investigation.

On April 29, 2011, agents executed a federal search warrant at Radcliff’s residence in Houston. Agents seized a PowerSpec desktop computer, a Toshiba laptop and a thumb drive. Radcliff admitted to searching for and downloading child pornography on the Internet. A forensic exam was subsequently conducted and images of child pornography were found on all three items seized. On them, at least 949 images and 92 videos of child pornography were found, some of the which depicted prepubescent girls engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with adult males.
           
The sentencing is set for Feb. 3, 2012, at which time Radcliff faces a minimum sentence of five and up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Radcliff 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. Radcliff was arrested on state charges in April 29, 2011, and remained in state custody until he was indicted on the federal charges July 6, 2011, after which he was transferred to federal custody. He will remain in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United states Attorney Sherri Zack and prosecuted by the FBI, 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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