Walter Eugene Rogers, 33, of Watauga, Texas, faces a maximum penalty of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for March 4 before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey. Rogers has been in federal custody since he was arrested in Georgia by officers with the Tallapoosa Police Department on a related charge outlined in a criminal complaint.
According to documents filed in the case, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), conducting an undercover investigation to identify persons involved in distributing child pornography via peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, identified a particular computer that was sharing images of child pornography. The undercover special agent downloaded some of the 384 files available for sharing that had names indicative of child pornography, and found that they contained images of child pornography.
Based on the downloaded images, a warrant was executed at Rogers' home in November 2011. During the search, special agents seized a computer and related storage devices, and a bag of printed child pornography images. Rogers admitted that he had been downloading child pornography since the mid-1990s, and that he is attracted to boys 9 to 12 years of age. Rogers also admitted that he had images and videos of sex acts, bondage and other sadistic acts involving children. He also said that he had downloaded child pornography just a few hours before special agents arrived that day.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.