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Justice News

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

Friday, March 22, 2013

Former Big Spring, Texas, Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Offense

LUBBOCK, Texas — Christopher Aubrey Harlan, 27, formerly of Big Spring, Texas, appeared in federal court in Lubbock today and pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, to one count of receiving child pornography. Harlan, who is on bond, faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years, or more than 20 years, in federal prison, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, Harlan used his computer, as well as for a brief time, his roommate’s computer, to access child pornography on various websites. He used those computers, as well as his cellphone, to send and receive numerous images of 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Big Spring Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 22, 2015