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Child Exploitation

Fort Worth man pleads guilty to child pornography offense

Defendant had about 45,000 images of child pornography on thumb drives in his pocket when he was arrested for possessing drug paraphernalia

FORT WORTH, Texas — A local man pleaded guilty on Friday before U.S. District Judge John McBryde to one count of possessing visual depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD).

Domingo Castellon, 56, who has been in custody since his arrest in late January, faces a statutory sentence of not less than 10 years and up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for June 15 before Judge McBryde.

On Jan. 23, 2012, FWPD officers arrested Castellon for possessing drug paraphernalia. While at the jail, officers retrieved three computer thumb drives from the front pocket of his pants. The thumb drives contained about 45,000 still images and movies of child pornography. Castellon admitted that he owned the thumb drives. The desktop computer Castellon used to acquire the child pornography was seized during a search of his bedroom at his residence in Fort Worth.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aisha Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.

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. This hotline is 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.