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Child Exploitation

Central Texas man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas — A Texas man pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in Lubbock federal court Friday, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña, Northern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Joshua I. Suter, 24, of San Angelo, Texas, pleaded guilty July 5 before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to one count of possessing child pornography. Suter, who remains on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report.

According to documents filed in the case, Suter owned a computer at his San Angelo residence that was connected to the Internet. In the course of using the Internet to search for depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, Suter downloaded and viewed numerous child pornography videos.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

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, 1-800-843-5678.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.