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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 3, 2015

Grants Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Distribution of Child Pornography Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Richard J. Dates, 70, of Grants, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a distribution of child pornography charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Dates will be sentenced within the range of five to 12 years in prison followed by not less than five years of supervised release.  Dates will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison.

Dates was arrested in Grants in Aug. 2012, on a criminal complaint charging him with possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct from Aug. 23, 2009 through Aug. 23, 2012.  According to court documents, Dates was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents after an investigation by HSI in Boston, Mass., identified him as an individual who was distributing child pornography images through the internet.

Dates was indicted on Sept. 5, 2012, and charged with possession of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct from Aug. 23, 2009 through Aug. 23, 2012.  A superseding indictment was filed on Sept. 25, 2013, charging Dates with two counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography, and possession of visual depictions of child pornography.  A second superseding indictment was filed on June 24, 2014, charging Dates with one count of advertising child pornography, three counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of receipt of child pornography, and seven counts of possession of child pornography.

During today’s proceedings, Dates pled guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography, and admitted distributing child pornography on June 15, 2011.  Dates has been in federal custody since his arrest, and remains detained pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of HSI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacob Wishard and Marisa A. Lizarraga 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 case 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 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 NMOAG.  Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.

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Updated August 3, 2015