HOUSTON - A local man pleaded guilty on Thursday to possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Tim Johnson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety and Kemah Police Department.
Richard Carl Green, 45, from Dickinson, Texas, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison. Sentencing is scheduled for March 9. Green faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment. After he completes hany prison term imposed, Green also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Green was released on bond following his Aug. 27 arrest, pending his sentencing.
The charges against Green resulted from an investigation conducted by the ICE offices in Galveston and Houston, the Texas DPS and the Kemah PD. The investigation began when ICE agents with the Newark ICE office determined Green had paid for a subscription to a child pornography website. ICE agents concluded that the computer used to join the website was located at Green's business in the Clear Lake City area of Houston.
ICE agents identified the server hosting the child pornography images in Tampa, Fla., and executed a search warrant at that location. The search yielded emails and log files as well as images/videos that were accessible on the website. Two emails from Green to the webmaster dated April 15 and 16, 2008 were discovered stating that he did not receive his purchase and asked the child pornography site to please check on it. On April 17, 2008, the webmaster emailed Green advising him that he was billed for $79.99 and provided a URL for him to access the child pornography website. Logfiles showed that Green accessed the child pornography website from his home computer between April 17 and May 1, 2008.
ICE agents in Galveston secured federal search warrants for Green's residence in Dickinson and his business in Houston, executing search warrants on March 19. Images of child pornography were discovered on computers at his office and his home, along with a number of CDs.
More than 1,000 images, 127 videos and CDs containing 124 videos of sexually explicit child pornography were found. Some CDs were labeled with a known reference to a child pornography site. The images and videos were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who verified that images from 19 identified victims were found on Green's computer equipment.
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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
ICE 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.