Lockesburg Man Sentenced To 30 Years In Federal Prison For Receiving Child Pornography
Texarkana, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Nathan Karl Thomas, age 25, of Lockesburg, Arkansas was sentenced today to 360 months in federal prison followed by ten years of supervised release on two counts of Receipt of Child Pornography. Thomas was also ordered to pay $3,163.96 in restitution. The Honorable Susan O. Hickey presided over the sentencing hearing in the United States District Court in Texarkana.
According to court records, the York Regional Police Special Victims Unit in Canada initiated an investigation in 2014 of the distribution of child pornography, based on information that a Canadian citizen had uploaded to his computer images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Law enforcement officers in Canada learned that the images received by the Canadian citizen were sent from an internet protocol (IP) address associated with a residence in Texarkana, Texas.
Federal law enforcement officials in Texas identified the user of the IP address that sent the contraband images to the Canadian citizen. In December 2014, a search warrant was executed at Thomas’s residence in Lockesburg, Arkansas. Thomas’s cell phone and other electronic communication devices were seized pursuant to the search warrant and examined. The forensic examination of Thomas’s phone resulted in the recovery of Kik Messenger chat logs between Thomas and a minor female that contained sexually explicit conversations as well as photographs of the minor female engaged in sexual poses.
In addition to the images recovered from Thomas’s phone of the minor female engaged in sexually explicit conduct, forensic examiners discovered on Thomas’s cell phone a video depicting an adult female sexually abusing a two-year-old male. Law enforcement officers were able to identify the adult female as Haidy Branson, a Texas resident. Branson told law enforcement officers that she produced the video and sent it via the internet to Thomas at his request. Branson was prosecuted in the Eastern District of Texas for her production of the video containing images of the sexual abuse of the two-year-old child. Branson is serving a 21-year sentence in the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Thomas plead to an information in March of 2016.
This case was investigated by the Texarkana Child Advocacy Center, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Arkansas State Police Cybercrimes Unit, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Arkansas Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. Assistant United States Attorneys Kyra Jenner and Ben Wulff prosecuted the case for the United States.