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Child Exploitation

East Texas man convicted of failing to register as a sex offender

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Trinity, Texas, man pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, Eastern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Clarence Robert Ward, 57, was convicted in 1998 of indecent contact with a minor in Polk County, Iowa. As a result of this conviction, Ward is required to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement wherever he resides. In March 2010, Ward moved to Huntsville, Texas, and in late 2011, relocated to Trinity, Texas. Ward failed to update his sex offender registration with the state of Iowa and register with the state of Texas.

Ward faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000 and a term of supervised release of not less than five years or up to life.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Tortorice, Eastern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

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.