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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 24, 2020

Former Del Rio Sector U.S. Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to Federal Prison for Production and Possession of Child Pornography

In San Antonio this morning, a federal judge sentenced a former Del Rio Sector U.S. Border Patrol agent assigned to the Uvalde Station to 50 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.   

In addition to the prison term, Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ordered that 37-year-old Vernon Lee Millican of Leakey, TX, pay a $10,000 special assessment under the Joint Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) and be placed on supervised release for a period of 20 years after completing his prison term.

On October 17, 2019, Millican pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.  By pleading guilty, Millican admitted that between April 2015 and June 2018, he used multiple devices to produce and possess images and videos of himself sexually assaulting a prepubescent minor; and, depicting the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.  According to the victim, Millican began to sexually abuse her when she was six years old.

“Today we put behind bars a brutal sexual predator who is a disgrace to the Border Patrol and the United States.  His punishment is richly deserved,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.

Millican was arrested on January 31, 2019, after a federal search warrant was executed at his home.  He has since remained in federal custody.    

“A heartbreaking reality of the world we’re living in is the hidden abuse of children,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Combs. “They’re suffering in silence every day, both in our community and around the world, as we go about our daily lives. The FBI will relentlessly pursue every lead to rescue children who are being victimized, and bring their perpetrators to justice. We strongly urge members of the public to help us in our fight to protect children, as they are some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

FBI agents, together with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, investigated this case with assistance from the Real County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated January 24, 2020