Non-Indian Physician Employed by Indian Health Services Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Thomas Murray, 62, a non-Indian who resides in Acoma Pueblo, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a federal child pornography charge.
Murray is a physician who relocated to New Mexico in Oct. 2014, from Ohio to take a position as a general practitioner with Indian Health Services at the Acoma-Canoncito-Laguna Service Unit located in Acoma Pueblo. Murray was charged in a criminal complaint with transporting, distributing and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, the FBI initiated the federal investigation leading to Murray’s arrest on Dec. 19, 2014, after receiving a report from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. The report alleged that investigation by an investigation by the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force revealed that an IP Address subscribed to Murray’s residential address in Acoma was being used to download and distributing images consistent with child pornography. According to the criminal complaint, the FBI arrested Murray and executed a federal search warrant at his residence on Jan. 5, 2015.
Murray was subsequently indicted on Jan. 21, 2015, and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography from Oct. 19, 2014 through Jan. 5, 2015, in Cibola County, N.M.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Murray pled guilty to possession of child pornography under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
At sentencing, Murray faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Murray will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, the New Mexico ICAC Task Force and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory. The case 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 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 NMAGO. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.