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Child Exploitation

Northwest Texas man sentenced to nearly 16 years in federal prison for producing child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas — A northwest Texas man was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings, to 15 years and eight months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in December 2013 to one count of producing child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Santa Anna Police Department, and the Abilene Police Department.

Tyrell Daniels, 20, of Abilene, Texas, has been in custody since his arrest in November 2013 on a related federal criminal complaint. A federal grand jury indicted him later that month on one count of enticing a child, and one count of producing child pornography. In accordance with the plea agreement, the enticement charge was dismissed.

According to plea papers filed, after meeting a 12-year-old girl, "Jane Doe," online in September 2013, Daniels communicated with her for several days using his cell phone. During that time, Daniels often discussed his desire to have sex with Jane Doe, even though she had informed him that she was only 12 years old.

On Sept. 12, 2013, Daniels used Internet messaging to ask Jane Doe to send a topless photo of herself to him. She complied, and Daniels told her that he would not post her pictures on the Internet if she would send him a more sexually explicit photo of her genitals. Although Jane Doe sent Daniels a sexually explicit photo, he told her that it was not explicit enough. However, Jane Doe did not send him any additional photos.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE 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-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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.