Tickfaw Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
VERNON SWEENEY, JR. (“SWEENEY”), age 52, of Tickfaw, Louisiana, entered a plea of guilty today for possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Duane A. Evans.
On October 12, 2017, law enforcement officers with the Louisiana State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, arrested SWEENEY during the execution of a state search warrant at his Tickfaw home after finding that SWEENEY was in possession of several items, including a laptop computer, thumb drives and cellular phones that contained images depicting the sexual victimization of prepubescent children.
Court records also revealed that SWEENEY was previously convicted in Tangipahoa Parish Criminal District Court for pornography involving juveniles on August 1, 2012. Due to his prior conviction, if convicted, SWEENEY faces a mandatory minimum penalty of ten (10) years imprisonment up to twenty (20) years, followed by up to a life term of supervised release, and a $250,000.00 fine.
Sentencing will be held on July 12, 2018 before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
This case 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."
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the Louisiana State Police in investigating this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Fraud Section Chief, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.