Houston Fugitive Indicted For Production of Child Pornography
HOUSTON – A 36-year-old man who resided in Houston is being sought following the return of a four-count indictment on varying charges related to the production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
John Ferguson was indicted today for production, receipt, access with intent to view and possession of child pornography. It is believed that he has fled in order to avoid being arrested on these charges. He is considered a fugitive and a warrant remains outstanding for his arrest.
A criminal complaint, filed last month, alleges that Ferguson was accessing numerous files from a website known to contain child pornography. A search warrant was conducted at Ferguson’s residence, at which time authorities seized several items, including computers. On those devices, the criminal complaint alleges that authorities discovered more than 1,000 videos and 13,000 images of child pornography.
The charges allege that in some of the videos an underage girl is seen being sexually assaulted and in lewd and lascivious poses that show her genitalia. According to the criminal complaint, the girl is seen on heavily stained carpet and on a bathroom counter during these acts. The charges indicate that these items match those seen in Ferguson’s residence. What appears to be an adult male with matching characteristics of Ferguson is also seen in the videos, according to the complaint.
As part of the investigation, the images/videos seized were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Subsequently, NCMEC identified several videos that appeared to have been produced by Ferguson, according to the charges. Based on the work of NCMEC and FBI, the child in the videos has been identified.
Ferguson is described as a 36-year-old white male, 5'10" and weighing approximately 180 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. Investigators believe Ferguson may be driving an older model, silver, two-door Ford Focus. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the charging and arrest of Ferguson. If you have information about him or his whereabouts, please call the Crime Stoppers tip line at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or the FBI Houston Field Office at 713-693-5000. Tips may also be submitted to the FBI online at https://tips.fbi.gov/. As a public service to the community, Clear Channel Outdoor is donating space and time on its digital billboards throughout the area and statewide to publicize the reward and feature a photo of Ferguson.
If convicted of the production charges, Ferguson faces a mandatory minimum of 15 and up to 30 years in federal prison. For the charge of receipt of child pornography also faces a mandatory minimum of five years up to a maximum of 20. On each count of access with intent to view and possession of child pornography, Ferguson faces another maximum 10 years of imprisonment. Each conviction is also punishable by a possible $250,000 fine. Further, If convicted, upon completion of any prison term imposed, Ferguson faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect the children and prohibit the use of the Internet. He would also be required to register as a sex offender.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.