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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 21, 2014

Hurst, Texas, Man Charged With Federal Child Pornography Offense

Anyone Who May Have Been Victimized Related To This Case Is Asked To Contact HSI Tipline

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Hurst, Texas, man is in federal custody, charged in a federal criminal complaint with transporting and shipping child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana.

Randy Way Wesson, 28, made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton in federal court in Fort Worth today, and he was ordered detained, pending a detention and preliminary hearing set for Tuesday, November 25, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. before Judge Cureton.

According to the complaint filed in the matter, the investigation began when a detective with the Hurst Police Department received information form the Dallas Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit regarding a Cybertip received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). That referral indicated that a particular Instagram member had uploaded an image of child pornography through their server on June 7, 2014. The investigation revealed that Wesson was the owner of that account.

Officers with the Hurst Police Department executed a state search warrant at Wesson’s home on November 18, 2014, in an effort to search for and seize evidence of child pornography. Wesson was present during the search. A preliminary examination of Wesson’s desktop computer revealed numerous images of child pornography.

Anyone who may have been victimized related to this case should contact the toll-free tip line to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at 1-866-347-2423.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The statutory penalty for the offense as charged is not less than five or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release.

The matter 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’s (ICE) HSI and the Hurst Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.

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Updated June 22, 2015