HOUSTON - A local resident was sentenced here Tuesday to five years in federal prison for possessing hundreds of illegal images and movies of child pornography. This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle, Southern District of Texas; the case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Olen Alan Curry, 43, of Houston, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, who said that he was sensitive to the victims who appear in the child pornography images that Curry downloaded from the Internet. Because of Curry's admitted fantasies, Judge Ellison said he was concerned that Curry might someday act on those fantasies and actually abuse a child. Curry was also sentenced to serve a lifetime term of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence. Curry previously pleaded guilty to the child pornography possession charges on Feb. 14.
The ICE office in Houston began this investigation in August 2006 when ICE agents received a lead from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC reported that a commercial child pornography website offered illegal child pornography to paying members. One such paying member used the e-mail address that belonged to Curry.
ICE agents visited Curry at his residence and interviewed him on Sept. 18, 2007. Curry allowed ICE agents to enter his residence, and he provided written consent for agents to search his computer. The initial search revealed images of child pornography. Curry told the agents he accessed the Internet, via his home computer, searching for images of child pornography. He stated that he downloaded images and movies containing child pornography to folders located on his computer's internal hard drive.
During a search of Curry's residence, agents discovered a disturbing handwritten list by Curry containing the following items: "rope, strong fishing wire, duct tape, camera battery, very large garbage bags, two stun guns." Curry eventually admitted to fantasizing about abducting a young girl, disabling her with the stun guns, tying her up, and photographing her.
ICE agents conducted a preliminary forensic analysis on the hard drives seized from Curry's residence. They discovered 478 sexually explicit images of child pornography on Curry's desktop computer, and 480 such images on an external hard drive. Agents also located 167 child pornography movies, and about 4,500 images and 200 movies containing "child erotica" on Curry's internal or external computer hard drives. However, child erotica is not illegal to possess. Curry told ICE agents he had downloaded child pornography and had been viewing child pornography for about three years.
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 11,000 individuals, including more than 1,090 in Texas.
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 www.cybertipline.com.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.