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Child Exploitation

Boston-area man arrested on federal child pornography charge

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Boston-area man was arrested Wednesday evening without incident at his home in Middleboro, Mass., on a federal child pornography charge. The arrest was announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas, and John Chakwin Jr., special agent in charge in Dallas.

Christopher T. Roy, 37, remains in custody pending a detention hearing next week in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts. An exact date and time have not yet been set for that hearing.

"Anyone who targets children for sexual exploitation should also consider themselves a target by ICE and by our law enforcement partners," said John Chakwin Jr., special agent in charge in Dallas. Chakwin oversees 120 counties in north Texas and Oklahoma.

A federal criminal complaint was filed on Wednesday in the Fort Worth, Texas, division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, charging Roy with possessing child pornography. According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, on Saturday morning, June 12, Roy entered the United States at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, arriving from the Jesus Teŕan Peredo International Airport in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Roy was the subject of a one-day lookout by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) based on an intelligence report that named Roy, along with numerous other subjects in the Boston area, who had purchased memberships to known child pornography sites.

Based on this lookout, a CBP officer conducted a secondary inspection of Roy's baggage and questioned Roy about the purpose of his travel to Mexico. Roy stated that he'd been in Mexico on business for about a week. The CBP officer examined Roy's laptop computer and found what he believed to be child pornography videos.

An ICE agent arrived and interviewed Roy regarding the purported contraband movie files. Roy stated that the computer was his work computer and that two weeks ago, he had downloaded about 15 child pornography videos onto the computer and had begun downloading about 20 additional child pornography videos.

ICE agents conducted a preliminary forensic exam on the computer on June 14. They discovered numerous movies files of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The penalty, however, for possessing child pornography is up to 10 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. The U.S. Attorney's office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.

The case is being investigated by ICE. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting.

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.