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July 7, 2017Fort Worth, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

Dallas-area man sentenced to 80 years in federal prison for producing child pornography

FORT WORTH, Texas — A Dallas-area man was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge John McBryde to 960 months (80 years) in federal prison for producing child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.  This international investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (Saskatchewan) Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

Robert Dion Ables, 40, of Hutchins, Texas, has been in custody since his arrest in December 2016 on a related federal criminal complaint.  In March 2017, Ables pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography and two counts of producing child pornography.

“The sexual victimization and exploitation of these young girls is profoundly sad,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “It is also, obviously, a serious crime for which the penalties are justifiably significant.”

According to documents filed in the case, in December 2016, HSI special agents conducting a child pornography investigation served a search warrant at Ables’ residence in Hutchins.  Ables acknowledged that, beginning in 2014, while he was living in the Fort Worth and Arlington areas, he used social media applications such as Kik messenger on his phone to initiate contact with minor girls.  During his conversations, Ables convinced these girls to send nude photographs of themselves.

At times Ables coerced these girls to send additional sexually explicit images by threatening to expose the girls’ pictures on social media, such as Facebook.

Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem, 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 16,000 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 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.

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 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.