Alamogordo Man Facing Federal Child Pornography Charges
Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood
ALBUQUERQUE – This morning a U.S. Magistrate Judge sitting in Las Cruces, N.M., found probable cause to support a criminal complaint charging William Allen Patterson, 34, of Alamogordo, N.M., with federal child pornography charges. Patterson was detained pending trial.
Patterson was arrested on August 10, 2016, on a criminal complaint alleging that he possessed and received visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit activity from 2002 to 2012 and Aug. 10, 2016, in Otero County, N.M. According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Patterson began in Aug. 2016, after Patterson allegedly admitted to a polygraph examiner that he was addicted to child pornography while undergoing a polygraph examination as part of the application process to be a Border Patrol Agent. On Aug. 9, 2016, law enforcement searched Patterson’s residence and allegedly found a hard drive containing at least 10,000 images of child pornography.
If convicted on the receipt of child pornography charge, Patterson faces a statutory penalty of a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in prison. If convicted on the possession of child pornography charge, he faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Las Cruces Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Ong of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s 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 exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 82 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.