ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local man was sentenced Tuesday to more than eight years in federal prison, followed by 15 years of supervised release, for his child pornography conviction.
U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other state and local law enforcement agencies investigated this case.
Ernest Brian Tucker, 59, of Corrales, N.M., will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
Tucker has been in federal custody since his arrest March 7, 2012 on a criminal complaint charging him with child pornography offenses. Tucker subsequently was indicted and charged with receiving and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
On Nov. 8, 2012, Tucker pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography.
According to court filings, on March 7, 2012, the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force executed a search warrant at Tucker's residence and seized computers and computer-related media. This search warrant was based on an undercover investigation initiated in January 2012 by the New Mexico State Police aimed at identifying those who possess, receive and distribute child pornography.
The search warrant was obtained after the investigation revealed that an IP address linked to Tucker's residence was distributing child pornography.
In entering his guilty plea, Tucker admitted that, while the search warrant was executed, he voluntarily participated in a recorded interview with ICAC Task Force officers during which he admitted using a file-sharing computer program to download child pornography.
Tucker acknowledged that a review of his computer and computer-related media revealed about 38,000 images and videos consistent with child pornography, including more than 2,700 images and videos of children who have been identified as child pornography victims and have been rescued.
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 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.