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Child Exploitation

North Texas man pleads guilty to child pornography offense

DALLAS - A man from Coppell, Texas, pleaded guilty on Thursday before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Dallas Police Department.

Gary Mack Johnson, 54, who is on bond, faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for Aug. 8.

According to documents filed in the case, Johnson admits that in February 2010 he was using the Internet and logged onto a website that functions as a gallery post offering numerous links to various child pornography websites. This particular website offers a special "chat" feature where users can access an assortment of different "rooms." In these rooms, the user can, among other things, hold online text conversations, and post messages, photos and graphics to the entire room or to a specific user. Even though the website has a warning indicating that users are not to post child pornography, Johnson uploaded two child pornography images to specific users in the chat room. Johnson admitted that he chatted online with others about his desire to have sex with children, and would sometimes send and receive child pornography with those persons with whom he chatted.

When ICE HSI agents executed a search warrant at Johnson's home on May 13, 2010, they seized his computer, an external hard drive and a cell phone. Forensic analysis revealed that there were numerous images and videos of child pornography on his computer and cell phone. Johnson admits that some of the images were of prepubescent minors under age 12, and that some of the images depicted bondage and other sadistic acts involving minors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.

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.