Hurst, Texas, Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Offenses
FORT WORTH, Texas — A Hurst, Texas, man appeared in federal court this morning and pleaded guilty to an indictment charging child pornography offenses, announced John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, Randy Ray Wesson, 29, pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton, to one count of possession of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography. He faces a maximum statutory sentence on the possession count of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. On the receipt count, he faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years and not more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. However, according to the plea agreement filed, if the Court accepts this plea agreement, the parties agree that the appropriate punishment in this case is no more than 30 years in federal prison. Sentencing is set for June 25, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means.
Wesson has been in custody since his arrest in November 2014 on related charges outlined in a federal criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, 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 forensic examination revealed that Wesson’s desktop computer contained files visually depicting minors, including a prepubescent minor, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
In addition, according to the filed factual resume, on February 9, 2014, Wesson used the Internet and Instagram to receive visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
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) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hurst Police Department are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.