Mansfield Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offense
DALLAS — Thomas Adam Lewis, 37, of Mansfield, Texas, appeared yesterday in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Harris Toliver and pleaded guilty to one count of attempted production of child pornography. Lewis, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in September on related charges, faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for April 5, 2018. U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement today.
According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, on August 4, 2017, a Grand Prairie Police Department detective began an undercover investigation, posing as a thirteen year old boy, targeting adults who were soliciting minors on the internet through the use of a third party messaging application.
Lewis using the screen name “Twinks only 33” (“Twinks33”), contacted the Detective and asked the Detective for pictures of himself. After receiving an image of a minor male wearing jeans, a white tank top, and a baseball cap, Lewis replied, “Um you are sexy,” and asked the Detective if he had any shirtless pictures. During the next few days, Lewis repeatedly asked the Detective to take shirtless and nude pictures of himself and send the child pornography images to him.
The conversations continued, according to the factual resume, and Lewis asked, “when can we meet?” Sporadically over a few days Lewis and the Detective discussed meeting and on the afternoon of August 29, 2017, Lewis arrived at a designated apartment complex in Grand Prairie and was arrested. Lewis provided law enforcement with the passcode to his cellular device. Upon review of the phone, law enforcement located the communications between Twinks33 and the Detective. Lewis was using other social networking applications and was engaged in additional communications entailing the sexual exploitation of minors. Law enforcement contacted resource officers at two area high schools in an attempt to identify possible victims and located a 15-year-old boy who had also chatted with Lewis. The conversations were sexually explicit and Lewis attempted to entice the boy to have sex with him.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 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 leverages federal, state and local resources to better investigate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children. Project Safe Childhood also prioritizes identifying and rescuing 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.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Grand Prairie Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
# # #