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Child Exploitation

Central Texas man sentenced to 15 years in prison for receiving child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas – A former Big Springs, Texas, man was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña, Northern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Big Springs Police Department.

Christopher Aubrey Harlan, 27, was sentenced July 12 by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 180 months in federal prison, to be followed by eight years of supervised release. Harlan pleaded guilty in March 2013 to one count of receiving child pornography. Cummings ordered Harlan to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons August 16.

According to documents filed in the case, Harlan used his computer, as well as his roommate’s computer for a brief time, to access child pornography on various websites. He used those computers, as well as his cellphone, to send and receive numerous images of child pornography.

The 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.