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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 12, 2014

Denton County Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

   Plano, Texas –U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a deputy with the Denton County Sheriff’s Department has been indicted on child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas.

The defendant, Joe Edward Cummings, 36, of Justin, TX, was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 10, 2014.  According to the indictment, between June and October 2014, Cummings transported child pornography using the internet and a cloud-based storage service and he possessed digital media that contained child pornography files.

Cummings appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Bush for an initial appearance on December 12, 2014.  If convicted, Cummings faces a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and up to twenty years in federal prison.

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 (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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

The indictment is the culmination of an investigation conducted by the United States Secret Service and Texas Department of Public Safety – Texas Rangers, with assistance from the Justin Police Department, Denton County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Marshal’s Service.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.

The grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Updated March 17, 2015