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September 15, 2023Houston, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

East Texas man convicted of possessing child sexual abuse material following HSI Beaumont investigation

BEAUMONT, Texas — An East Texas man was convicted of child sexual abuse material-related charges Sept. 12 following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Beaumont.

Dereck Wayne Winstead, a 34-year-old resident of Bridge City, was found guilty of possession of child pornography following a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

According to information presented in court, in 2020, federal agents received two cyber tips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with information that an individual in Orange County had been accessing and possessing child sexual abuse material.

A subsequent investigation by HSI Beaumont revealed the accounts accessing the child sexual abuse material were connected to Winstead. On March 30, 2022, law enforcement officers conducted a consensual search at Winstead’s residence and located four electronic devices, including a custom-built gaming computer. A computer forensic analyst searched the computer and discovered more than 300 images of child sexual abuse material, including images of children under the age of 12.

Under federal statutes, Winstead faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. The court will determine Winstead’s sentence based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rachel Grove and Jonathan Lee.

For more news and information on HSI’s efforts to aggressively investigate child exploitation and child pornography in Southeast Texas follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, @HSIHouston

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.