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Press Release

Retired San Angelo Police Officer Sentenced to 35 years for Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas

A retired San Angelo Police Officer was sentenced to a term of 420 months imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Leigha Simonton.

Ricky Lynn Keeling, 62, was indicted in March 2023 and pleaded guilty in May 2023 to three counts of possession of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor.  Mr. Keeling was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge James Wesley Hendrix, who also ordered him to pay a $15,000 assessment for the Justice for Victim’s of Trafficking Act, and a $51,000 assessment for the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act. 

“Crimes involving child pornography are some of the most serious that the Department of Justice prosecutes,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton.  “For a former law enforcement officer to possess child pornography is more than shocking—it is despicable.  Our office will not let such crimes against children happen without repercussion.”

“We swear an oath to protect and serve and the sentence imposed today will ensure the community that no matter who you are, you will be held accountable for your actions,” said HSI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Lester R. Hayes Jr. “HSI Dallas will never relent in our pursuit to protect children from predators.”

"The gravity of this situation cannot be overstated and our agency's commitment to the safety of our community remains unwavering. Crimes perpetrated against children are of the most serious in nature and cannot be tolerated.  As soon as we became aware of these disturbing allegations against retired San Angelo Police Officer Rick Keeling, we immediately referred the matter to the Tom Green County Sherriff's Office and the Department of Homeland Security for investigation,” said San Angelo Police Chief Frank Carter

According to plea documents, Mr. Keeling’s roommate inadvertently discovered child pornography on Mr. Keeling’s computer.  The roommate reported the discovery to law enforcement and an investigation began. Mr. Keeling admitted to officers that he searched for prepubescent material up to three times a week and had been looking at child pornography since 2005.  

Homeland Security Investigations’ San Angelo Field Office and the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, conducted the investigation, with support from the San Angelo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Callie Woolam prosecuted the case.

Contact

Erin Dooley

Public Affairs Officer

214-659-8707

erin.dooley@usdoj.gov

Updated September 21, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood