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Child Exploitation
12/20/2013

West Texas man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas — A west Texas man was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison for possessing child pornography, announced 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), and the Slaton Police Department.

According to plea documents filed in the case, Stephen Carpenter, 33, of Slaton, Texas, used a file-sharing program to search for child pornography. He downloaded and viewed many video files of children being sexually exploited. On Feb. 14, Carpenter was found to possess a computer containing child pornography.

Carpenter pleaded guilty in August to one count of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced Dec. 20 by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings.

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 the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of 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 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-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.