Brownwood, Texas, Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offense
LUBBOCK, Texas — Michael Thomas Franks, 43, of Brownwood, Texas, appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of possession of prepubescent child pornography, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Franks, who remains on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date was not set.
According to plea documents filed in the case, Franks used computers at his residence to search the Internet for images and videos of child pornography. In the course of his searches, Franks located, downloaded, and viewed numerous images and videos of child pornography. He also transferred some of the child pornography from his computer to a computer disk that bore the handwritten label, “Pictures Videos,” which contained one or more images of prepubescent child pornography.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (US CBP) Office of Air and Marine; and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.
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