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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Corrales Man Sentenced to 97 Months in Prison for Child Pornography Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE – Ernest Brian Tucker, 59, of Corrales, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 97 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for his child pornography conviction. Tucker will be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence. Tucker’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) in El Paso, Texas.

Tucker has been in federal custody since his arrest on March 7, 2012, on a criminal complaint charging him with child pornography offenses. Tucker subsequently was indicted and charged with three counts of receipt of a visual depiction of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and two counts of possession of a visual depiction of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On Nov. 8, 2012, Tucker pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment, a receipt of child pornography charge.

According to court filings, on March 7, 2012, the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a search warrant at Tucker’s residence and seized computers and computer-related media. The search warrant was based on an undercover investigation initiated in Jan. 2012 by the New Mexico State Police aimed at identifying those who possess, receive and distribute child pornography. The search warrant was obtained after the investigation revealed that an IP Address subscribed to Tucker's residence was participating in the distribution of child pornography.

In entering his guilty plea, Tucker admitted that, while the search warrant was executed, he voluntarily participated in a recorded interview with ICAC Task Force officers during which he admitted that he used a file-sharing program to down-load child pornography. Tucker also acknowledged that an examination of his computer and computer-related media revealed approximately 38,000 images and videos consistent with child pornography, including more than 2,700 images and videos of numerous children who have been identified as child pornography victims and have been rescued.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the New Mexico State Police, the New Mexico ICAC Task Force and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab.

Tucker was charged as part of Operation Artemis, an investigative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement affiliates of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force aimed at identifying individuals throughout New Mexico involved in the distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography through peer-to-peer file sharing programs. In March 2012, federal, state and local law enforcement officers executed thirteen unrelated federal and state search warrants at residences throughout New Mexico, and seized computers and computer-related evidence related to child pornography offenses. To date, ten individuals have been arrested for violating federal and state child pornography laws based on the search warrants executed as part of Operation Artemis. The law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Artemis include: Homeland Security Investigations, NMSP, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, FBI,
Albuquerque Police Department, Los Lunas Police Department, Santa Fe Police Department, Rio Rancho Police Department, and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab.

Operation Artemis was brought 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 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.

Updated January 26, 2015