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Child Exploitation
05/20/2008

ICE special agents arrest college professor on child pornography charges

Midland resident allegedly traded on the internet dozens of sexually explicit images of children

MIDLAND, Texas - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents on Monday arrested the Midland College director of theatre here as part of on ongoing child pornography investigation.

David Roger Allen, 55, was arrested Monday evening at his home in the 5200 block of Quicksand Drive. He is charged with transporting child pornography via the Internet.

ICE special agents in Midland developed information that led them to execute a search warrant May 15 at Allen's residence where they seized his desktop computer. A computer forensics examination revealed dialogue from Internet "chat" sessions where several dozen images of explicit child pornography were exchanged.

According to court documents, among the images were those of what appeared to be prepubescent girls posing nude. There were other images that depicted children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The children depicted appeared to range in age from infancy to about 15 years.

"ICE actively targets and investigates predators that prey on helpless and innocent children," said Roberto G. Medina, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso, which oversees west Texas and New Mexico operations. "We also routinely work with other law enforcement organizations to investigate and prosecute these cases to help bring some justice to the victims, and to deter others."

Allen was identified as a target during a separate ICE child pornography distribution investigation that originated a year ago.

If convicted, Allen faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Allen made his initial appearance in federal court this morning, where he was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kerry Fleck is prosecuting this case.

This arrest and investigation are 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 1,080 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 http://www.cybertipline.com.