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Child Exploitation
06/07/2018

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Former Houston-area sheriff's deputy sentenced to more than 27 years in federal prison for producing, possessing child pornography

HOUSTON — A former Houston-area sheriff's deputy was sentenced Thursday to more than 27 years in federal prison for producing and possessing child pornography.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, and Harris County (Texas) Sheriff's Office.

Andrew Craig Sustaita, 31, from Spring, Texas, who was a former Harris County sheriff's deputy, pleaded guilty March 15 to producing and possessing child pornography.

On June 7, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake sentenced Sustaita to 327 months incarceration and supervised release for the rest of his life after he completes his prison term. Sustaita must also register as a sex offender and comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.

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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 06/18/2018