Region 16 Education Service Center Employee Admits to Felony Child Pornography Charge
AMARILLO, Texas — Neal Edmond Brown, 46, of Canyon, Texas, appeared this afternoon before U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater and pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging one count of possession of prepubescent child pornography, announced Erin Nealy Cox, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Brown faces a maximum penalty of not more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Brown has been in custody since his arrest in October 2017 and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 26, 2018.
According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received information that an image depicting child pornography had been uploaded using the Skype program. Law enforcement discovered that the IP address responsible for uploading the image belonged to the Region 16 Education Service Center (ESC) in Amarillo, Texas. With the assistance from Region 16 ESC personnel, agents were able to verify that Brown, the Director of School Finance Operations at Region 16 ESC, was uploading child pornography from his work computer.
On June 21, 2017, a search warrant was executed at Region 16 ESC and agents seized several electronic devices located in Brown’s office. A forensic examination revealed that the electronic devices contained over 900 images of child pornography and over 200 videos of child pornography.
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 Federal Bureau of Investigation and Amarillo Police Department are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Frausto is in charge of the prosecution.
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