Taylor Claunch, 22, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Rainey on Sept. 20 to 121 months in federal prison without parole to be followed by 12-years of supervised release. The court also ordered Claunch to comply with additional conditions designed to protect children and the community, to include registering as a sex offender. Indicted in April, Claunch pleaded guilty on June 20 to distributing child pornography, admitting that in October 2010 he distributed child pornography via the Internet.
According to court evidence, Claunch possessed more than 720 images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In deciding upon the sentence ultimately handed down, the court considered the need to protect the public from Claunch and deter others from engaging in similar criminal activity.
In federal custody since his arrest in April, Claunch will remain in federal custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney's Lance Duke and Lance Watt, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.