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Child Exploitation

North Texas man admits possessing child pornography

Defendant faces up to 10 years in federal prison

FORT WORTH, Texas - A north Texas man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to an indictment charging one count of possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is investigating this case.

Brandon S. Gilbert, 32, who is on a personal recognizance bond, faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means on Feb. 7.

On March 2, 2010, ICE agents visited Gilbert Bedford, Texas, residence based on a lead from the ICE offices in Washington, D.C. The lead concerned a target at that residence who had purchased child pornography via the Internet. ICE agents examined Gilbert's computer and related storage media, and discovered child pornography.

According to information presented during Gilbert's detention hearing, Gilbert admitted, during an interview with agents, that he had been purchasing access to child pornography from an Internet website. Gilbert also told agents that he knew it was illegal to download child pornography onto his computers and stated, "I knew one day this would happen to me."

This investigation is 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 12,800 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 Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.