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Press Release

Denton County Man Sentenced to 50 years for Child Exploitation Violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas

PLANO, Texas — A 29-year-old Denton, Texas man has been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.


Joel Linden pleaded guilty on Apr. 20, 2017 production and distribution of child pornography and was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison on Aug. 18, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.


According to information presented in court, on Nov. 6, 2016, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Linden’s residence after receiving information that someone from the residence was sending child pornography using an internet application. During the execution of the search warrant, agents seized a number of items of digital media, many of which were found to contain child pornography. Some of the images and videos of child pornography were produced by Linden and depicted the sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12 years old. The investigation also revealed Linden had distributed the images and videos to individuals with whom he was communicating online.


“This is another horrendous case of child exploitation,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “We will leave no stone unturned to find those who commit these terrible crimes…as a warning to others, we will find and punish you. My heart breaks for the victims and my appreciation goes out to those men and women who relentlessly investigate and prosecute these cases.”


Linden was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison for the production of child pornography and 240 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography. The sentences were ordered to be served consecutively for a total of 600 months in federal prison.


This case was prosecuted 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 (CEOS), 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


This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Flower Mound Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.


Updated August 21, 2017

Project Safe Childhood