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Press Release

Dickinson resident sentenced for having hundreds of child pornography files

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 28-year-old Dickinson man has been handed a significant sentence for receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Richard Blake Howard pleaded guilty Feb. 16.

Today, U.S. District Judge Brown sentenced him to 174 and 120 months for the receipt and possession of child pornography convictions, respectively. They will run concurrently for a total 174-month-term of imprisonment. At the hearing, the court heard additional information that Howard was not deterred even after law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence in March 2019, seized his electronic devices and arrested him on an unrelated state warrant. The court then heard how Howard continued to receive, distribute and view child pornography using his Xbox until law enforcement executed a second search warrant in February 2021. The court also heard how Howard had a collection of children’s panties that he would steal from when he babysat young children. The court heard how Howard morphed images to create his own child pornography and took candid photos of women’s buttocks.

Howard will further be ordered to pay restitution to the victims in an amount to be determined later and will serve 15 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Howard will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

In December 2018, authorities began an investigation after receiving a cyber tip from a cloud storage company. They determined Howard’s location based on the IP address he used to receive and distribute child pornography to several storage accounts.  

Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Howard’s residence and seized laptop computers and cell phones. A search of his electronic devices revealed he received and distributed child pornography via his cloud storage accounts. Further investigation showed he received images from a particular website that is known by authorities to be a platform for child pornography.

Howard possessed approximately 973 images of prepubescent minors, bondage and bestiality involving minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. He also had 1,203 videos with some over five minutes in length.

Howard has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S Bureau of Prisons facility in the near future.  

Homeland Security Investigations – Galveston and members of the Houston Metro Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri L. Zack and Kimberly A. Leo prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources link on that page.

Updated April 12, 2023

Project Safe Childhood