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Child Exploitation

North Texas man sentenced to 17 ½ years for transporting child pornography

DALLAS – A North Texas man, who pleaded guilty in April to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, was sentenced on Thursday by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle to 210 months in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case and testimony at the sentencing hearing on Nov. 17, Gary Mack Johnson, 54, of Coppell, Texas, was arrested following two simultaneous investigations by separate law enforcement agencies including the Dallas Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC), the Utah Attorney General's Office, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The investigation revealed that Johnson had chatted about molesting children and distributed child pornography using many different methods on the Internet including AOL, Yahoo! Messenger, and a website called Free6.com.

Dallas ICAC received information from the Utah Attorney General's Office in May 2010 about an undercover officer who had been chatting with Johnson since March 2008. The officer pretended to be a 32-year-old woman with a 12-year-old daughter. Johnson encouraged the undercover officer to molest her daughter and put her daughter on the webcam so he could expose himself to her.

ICE HSI agents became aware of Johnson in 2010. Johnson was using a website called Free6.com which allowed users to chat in different chat rooms where they could hold conversations and post messages, photographs and graphics. During one week, Johnson distributed child pornography to at least 20 different users. He also engaged in conversations in which he encouraged others to molest their children and indicated his desire to molest the children himself.

A special agent with ICE HSI testified that forensic analysis revealed that Johnson had child pornography on his cell phone and his home computer and that he had been collecting and distributing child pornography since at least 2005. The analysis also revealed that, dating back to 2004, Johnson had saved other lengthy chat logs from Yahoo! Messenger revealing a pervasive interest in sexually assaulting children and encouraging others to abuse their own children. The special agent also testified that several of the images and videos were of the rape of prepubescent children, and that some of the images involved bondage and the violent rape of children.

Following the sentencing hearing, Judge Boyle remanded Johnson to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

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 and 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.