EL PASO, Texas - A local U.S. Army soldier was arrested Friday on child pornography charges, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
ICE HSI special agents arrested Spc. Ethan Larman, 23, at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he is assigned. Fort Bliss U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) assisted ICE HSI special agents assigned to the Cyber Crimes Group with the arrest.
A federal grand jury indicted Larman on April 27. He is charged with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography, and one count of possessing child pornography.
On March 23, ICE HSI special agents, U.S. Army CID, and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers executed a search warrant at Larman's residence in the 4500 block of Hercules Street. ICE HSI agents seized a desktop computer, PlayStation 3 gaming system, and several media storage devices.
A forensic examination of the seized items revealed images containing sexually explicit images depicting child exploitation. If convicted, Larman faces between five and 20 years in federal prison on the receipt/distribution charge, and a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on the possession charge. Larman remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing later this week.
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. 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.