United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced that Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced James Martin, age 51, of Beckville, Texas, to 97 months in federal prison following his conviction for distribution of child pornography. Martin must serve five years of supervised release upon completing his term of imprisonment, and he must complete sex offender treatment. The Court also ordered Martin to pay $248,000 in restitution. As a result of this conviction, Martin will be required to register as a sex offender.
Throughout July and August 2022, Martin used an instant messaging mobile application and a smartphone to distribute files of child pornography via the internet to an undercover agent in the Middle District of Louisiana. Martin distributed the videos and images of minors, knowing they were under 18 years of age. The child pornography files included a video link to a cloud storage application.
Martin distributed the video link to an undercover agent with a password and instructions to download the videos and images to confirm that the link was “working and sellable when the time [i]s right…” Throughout his conversations with undercover law enforcement, Martin described a scheme to sell child pornography online. Martin bragged about his ability to: (1) sell child pornography online for a profit; and (2) use encryption software to avoid law enforcement detection.
Martin’s video link contained approximately 245 videos and 108 images of child pornography, including toddlers. Martin also possessed at least 130 total videos and approximately 7,250 images of child pornography, which were accessible through his laptop, smartphone, and a central processing unit tower, among other devices.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, and the Panola County, Texas Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Edward H. Warner.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc.