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Press Release

Husband and Wife Sentenced to Federal Prison for Production of Child Pornography

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

In San Antonio yesterday, 27-year-old William Richard Welsh and 23-year-old Ashleigh Nicole Browning Welsh were sentenced to 327 months in federal prison for production of child pornography announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio Division.


In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ordered the Welshes be placed under supervised release for a period of 20 years after completing their prison term.


According to court records, HSI received information that a New Zealand individual was receiving images and videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct from a Kik Messenger account with subscriber information indicating the account holder resided in San Antonio. Authorities were able to identify the adults in the videos as the Welshes living in the San Antonio, TX area.


Agents from HSI interviewed the Welshes who admitted to producing the child pornography in their home at that time in Stockdale, TX.


The Welshes have remained in custody since being arrested in December 2015. On October 6, 2016, Ashleigh Welsh pleaded guilty to three counts of production of child pornography and on October 13, 2016, William Welsh pleaded guilty to three counts of production of child pornography.


“The heavy sentence imposed on Mr. and Mrs. Welsh sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit children in any way,” said Special Agent in Charge, Shane Folden, HSI San Antonio. “Targeting crimes of this nature is a high priority for HSI. We will continue to dedicate HSI resources worldwide to identify and bring to justice these individuals."


This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.


This investigation was conducted by the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Updated February 24, 2017

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