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Child Exploitation

Abilene, Texas, man sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for uploading child pornography to the Internet

ABILENE, Texas – A local man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in federal prison and a 10-year term of supervised release, following his November 2011 guilty plea to one count of transporting child pornography.

Connell Wilson Cook, 20, has been in federal custody since his July 27, 2011 arrest when a federal search warrant was executed at his Abilene residence. U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis also required Cook to register as a sex offender. This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, Cook admitted downloading several child pornography images from the Internet, planning to later sell them on the Internet. In March 2011, Cook uploaded one of the images back to the same website from which he downloaded it.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was in charge of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, prosecuted.

This investigation was 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-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.