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Child Exploitation

Tucson man sentenced to 18 years on child pornography charges

TUCSON, Ariz. — A three-time convicted child predator has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Billy Dewayne Mills, 34, of Tucson, was sentenced Tuesday in federal court, after pleading guilty March 7 to knowingly accessing child pornography. In addition to the prison term, Curtis will be subject to lifetime supervised release with stringent conditions, including registration as a sex offender.

Mills was previously convicted in Missouri of possession of child pornography in 2008 and of first degree child molestation in 2000.

"This predator has a history of child exploitation convictions spanning a dozen years," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of HSI Arizona. "Thanks to the dedicated work of our HSI special agents and our partners at the U.S. Attorney's Office, he is no longer able to continue victimizing children while hiding behind his computer."

According to court documents, Mills used his laptop computer and peer-to-peer file sharing programs to download and view more than 100 images and eight video files of explicit child pornography between March and November 2012. Some of the images portrayed the sexual abuse of children well under the age of 12.

Mills was arrested by HSI in November 2012 as part of Operation Sunflower, a month-long international operation aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce images of child pornography.

Operation Sunflower was conducted as 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 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.