This investigation was conducted by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Beaumont Police Department, Lumberton Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Hardin County Sheriff's Office, and the U. S. Marshals Service.
Timothy Arthur Steinbarth, 50, pleaded guilty May 16 to possessing child pornography and was sentenced Dec. 10 to 46 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.
On Jan. 21 federal special agents and police officers executed a search warrant at Steinbarth's home in Lumberton, Texas. Several computers and digital storage media were seized at the residence. A forensic examination of the computers and digital media revealed more than 100 videos and more than 100 images of child pornography. Some of these images are sadistic or masochistic, and some depict children under the age of 12.
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-DHS-2ICE 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-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice, Eastern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.