University Park Woman Admits Transporting And Shipping Child Pornography
DALLAS — Erika Susan Perdue, 42, of University Park, Texas, appeared in federal court this morning and pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney, to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography. The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment in May 2012 charging Perdue with two counts of transporting and shipping child pornography, one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. Purdue has been in custody since June 2012 when the court found that she had violated the conditions of release.
According to plea documents filed today in the case, if the court accepts the plea agreement, the parties agree that the appropriate term of imprisonment is 168 months (14 years) in federal prison. The court may also order a fine of up to $250,000 and up to a lifetime of supervised release. In addition, as part of her plea agreement with the government, Perdue will pay $5,000, at the time of sentencing, to one of the victims identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as “Vicky.” Sentencing is set for January 13, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay.
On January 4, 2012, a special agent with the FBI, and on January 5, 2012, an FBI Task Force Officer with the Plano Police Department, each acting online in an undercover capacity and assuming someone else’s identity, launched publicly-available peer-to-peer file-sharing programs and discovered that an individual, using the username, “Classybitch,” later identified as Perdue, was logged on to the network. They observed that the individual’s shared folder contained numerous files, many with names consistent with child pornography. They downloaded files, directly from this individual’s computer, and several did contain child pornography, including one video of a man and a woman engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a minor child. That video is described in Count One of the indictment for which Perdue is pleading guilty.
A search warrant was executed at Perdue’s residence on April 10, 2012. She admitted that one of her screen names was “Classybitch,” and that she traded child pornography while her husband was at work.
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 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 investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Plano Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.