Dallas Man Pleads Guilty To Drug And Child Obscenity Offenses
Defendant Also Admits Possessing Equipment To Make Counterfeit IDs
DALLAS — A 40-year-old Dallas man appeared in federal court today and pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renée Harris Toliver, to three federal felony offenses in an investigation that began in January 2014 after law enforcement learned he was claiming packages containing anabolic steroids from a postal center in Dallas, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
Defendant Nicholas Todd Freed was arrested by a Task Force Officer with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on January 28, 2014, as he was attempting to claim a package containing anabolic steroids at the Deep Ellum Postal Center in Dallas. Pursuant to the arrest, law enforcement discovered Freed possessed a counterfeit U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) credential and badge. Freed was charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to possess anabolic steroids and falsely making, forging, counterfeiting and altering a USMS seal. Later, the investigation revealed that Freed also possessed numerous thumb drives containing images of minors engaging in obscene, sexually explicit conduct.
This morning, Freed pleaded guilty to a three-count superseding information charging one count of attempted possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, one count of possession of a document-making implement with intent that it be used in the production of false documents, and one count of possession of obscene visual representations of the sexual abuse of children. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for the controlled substance and obscenity conviction and a maximum statutory penalty of 15 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine on the conviction for possessing the document-making implement. Sentencing is set for April 20, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
In early January 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in San Francisco identified a U.S. Postal Service Express Mail parcel, arriving from Singapore, as suspicious. The parcel contained approximately 1087 grams of an oily liquid, later determined to contain an anabolic steroid, and it was addressed to JPEG Press, 3100 Main Street #1, Dallas, Texas 75226, which is the address of the Deep Ellum Postal Center. CBP notified HSI in Dallas of the parcel and its contents.
The ensuing investigation determined that the account for the rental box at the postal center was opened with fictitious information, and the box frequently received similar packages. On January 28, 2014, when the HSI task force officer approached Freed who was at the postal center to pick up the package, he discovered Freed was carrying a USMS badge and apparent counterfeit USMS credentials identifying him as a USMS Chief Inspector.
Later that day during a consensual search at Freed’s residence, law enforcement seized computers and computer equipment as well as other items Freed used to make false government identification documents, including laminating materials, blank plastic cards the size of a driver license, pages of magnetic strips for the backs of identification cards, ink consistent with the Texas seal on state licenses and identifications cards, a laminating press, hologram materials of official government seals, pages of names and identities used in the production of the false identifications, and head shots.
Upon further examination of the seized thumb drives, special agents discovered visual depictions of minors, including prepubescent minors, engaging in obscene, sexually explicit conduct.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s HSI , CBP, and the Balch Springs and Dallas Police Departments investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith Robinson is prosecuting.