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Child Exploitation

Former West Texas police officer sentenced to 70 months in federal prison on child pornography conviction

LUBBOCK, Texas — A former West Texas police officer, who pleaded guilty in September 2011 to one count of receiving child pornography, was sentenced Thursday to 70 months in federal prison, and a 10-year term of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings ordered that Lee Lewis, 50, of Slaton, Texas, surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Jan. 26. Lewis is a former officer with the Slaton Police Department. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas announced the sentence.

According to documents filed in the case, Lewis admitted that while he lived in Slaton, he used peer-to-peer file-sharing programs to intentionally download images and videos, including child pornography, to his computer. On May 11, 2011, law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at his residence and seized three computers, 80 CDs and 10 VHS tapes. A forensic examination of the computers revealed numerous images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Lubbock Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, prosecuted.

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.