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Child Exploitation
10/20/2011

Federal grand jury indicts 2 North Texas residents on child pornography charges

Defendants allegedly sent text messages containing images of child pornography to each other

DALLAS– A federal grand jury returned indictments on Wednesday charging two Garland, Texas, residents with various felony child pornography offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana of the Northern District of Texas. Both Schmidt and Jackson are presently in state custody.

Specifically, one indictment charges Amber Schmidt, 24, with two counts of transporting child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. Another indictment charges Gary Lee Jackson, 26, with two counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography. The indictments allege that they used cell phones and text messaging to send images of child pornography to each other.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. However, if convicted, each of the transportation counts and each of the receipt counts carry a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Each of the possession counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. In addition, if convicted, Schmidt and Jackson will also be required to register as sex offenders.

The cases are being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Dallas Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, the Garland Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.