FORT WORTH, Texas - A 63-year-old local man pleaded guilty on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Kenneth S. King, of Fort Worth, Texas, who remains on bond, faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing is set for Nov. 29 before U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means.
According to documents filed in the case, on July 8, 2009, ICE agents visited the King residence concerning a lead they had received that a target at that residence had purchased child pornography via the Internet. Agents examined King's computer and discovered child pornography on it. King admitted that between June 1, 2009 and July 15, 2009 he possessed images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
This investigation is 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.
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.
This case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys' offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.