Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography
ALBUQUERQUE – John A. Crowe, 54, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Crowe will be sentenced to a prison term of not less than ten years and not more than 15 years to be followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the Court. Crowe will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
The guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough, Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Chief Pete N. Kassetas of the New Mexico State Police (NMSP).
Crowe was arrested in May 28, 2011, on a criminal complaint charging him with transportation and possession of child pornography, and has been in federal custody since that time. In June 2011, Crowe was indicted on child pornography charges. A superseding indictment was filed in July 2012, charging Crowe with advertising child pornography in March 2011, transportation of child pornography in Nov. 2010; distribution of child pornography on two occasions in March 2011, and possession of child pornography from April 2011 to May 2011. The indictment alleged that Crowe committed these offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M.
According to court filings, the investigation leading to Crowe’s arrest began in March 2011, when an officer with the Online Predator Unit of the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) identified an IP address that was being used to share files containing child pornography while conducting an investigation targeting those who share child pornography on peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Subsequent investigation revealed that the IP address was subscribed to Crowe at a residential address in west side of Albuquerque.
On May 26, 2011, HSI and the NMSP executed a search warrant at Crowe’s residence seized a computer and computer-related media. During a recorded interview that day, Crowe admitted using his computer to search for and download child pornography. A subsequent forensic examination of the computer and computer-related media revealed that they contained images and videos of child pornography, including videos of minor females who appeared to be filmed by a hidden camera located in a bathroom and a bedroom of a residence. During a recorded interview on May 28, 2011, Crowe admitted that he recorded the videos using a video-camera when he lived in Alabama and Georgia and that the minor females were daughters of former girlfriends who were not aware that he was filming them as they undressed. Crowe acknowledged bringing the child pornography with him when he moved to New Mexico in Nov. 2010.
Today, Crowe pled guilty to Count 6 of the superseding indictment charging him with distribution of child pornography, and admitted distributing an image of child pornography on March 12, 2011. Crowe remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and the NMSP and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard 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, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The Operation 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 64 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.