News and Press Releases

Distributing Child Pornography Lands Former Local Resident in Federal Prison

March 19, 2014

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Trent Ashley Willis, 37, formerly of Corpus Christi, has been ordered to prison for 10 years following his conviction of distributing child pornography, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Willis pleaded guilty Jan, 8, 2014.

Today, Senior U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack took into consideration the need to protect the public and deter future criminal conduct and handed Willis a total of 120 months in federal prison. Additional information was also presented today, including the fact that in addition to his distribution of actual child pornography, Willis had posted non-pornographic images of children with whom he had contact on the web in an effort to entice other pedophiles. In handing down the sentence, Judge Jack stated that she doubted anything could be done to deter his future criminal conduct and ordered Willis to serve a lifetime of supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.  

Willis came to the attention of law enforcement after multiple pornographic images of children were posted to several websites. The investigation led to the identity of Willis who had been posting and exchanging child pornography in Corpus Christi between May and October of 2012 via legitimate websites with other users who were similarly interested. Willis resided in Corpus Christi during parts of 2012, but left the area sometime during late 2012. He was eventually discovered and arrested without incident in Petersberg, Va., in October 2013.
 
The ongoing investigation has linked Willis to numerous occurrence of Internet-based child pornography related activities in multiple states.
 
Willis will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI investigated with the assistance of the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
 
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

 

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