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Child Exploitation

East Texas man pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

BEAUMONT, Texas — A Nederland, Texas, man pleaded guilty Tuesday to possessing child pornography, 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).

Donovan Ray Kendrick, 39, pleaded guilty at a June 12 hearing before U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. According to court information, in December 2010, local and federal investigators executed a search warrant at Kendrick's home in Jefferson County. A forensic examination was conducted on a computer seized at the residence revealing eight images of child pornography. One of the child pornography images depicted a child under the age of 12.

Kendrick faces a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00, or both, and a term of supervised release of not less than five years or up to life. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

The following agencies assisted in the HSI-led investigation: U.S. Marshals Service, Orange County Sheriff's Office, and Jefferson County District Attorneys' Office. 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.