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Press Release

San Angelo, Texas, Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Child Pornography Offense

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

LUBBOCK, Texas — James Arthur Abney, 53, of San Angelo, Texas, appeared today in federal court in Lubbock, Texas, and pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, to one count of possession of child pornography. Abney, who remains in custody, faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, while Abney resided in Ballinger, Texas, he used cell phones to search the Internet for images of child pornography. He saved images of child pornography on his cellphones and downloaded some of the images onto his computer’s hard drive.

The case 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Ballinger Police Department and the Runnels County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated June 22, 2015