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Child Exploitation

Former southeast Texas law enforcement officer sentenced to 15 years in prison for child pornography

HOUSTON — A former detention officer with Harris County Sheriff's Office and Reserve Deputy Constable was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for promoting and possessing child pornography. This conviction and sentence resulted following a plea agreement with Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Houston Police Department, Precinct Four of the Montgomery County Constable's Office, and Montgomery County District Attorney's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

David Wayne Land, 43, was discovered distributing two video files that portrayed minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. HSI Houston special agents executed a federal search warrant at his residence in Porter, Texas, in November 2012.

Upon entering the residence, special agents encountered Land's adult daughter and an unrelated 10-year-old boy sleeping on a couch. The boy was taken to Children's Safe Harbor for a forensic interview, where the boy indicated inappropriate behavior had taken place at the residence. The child stated that the defendant had been discussing sex acts with the 10 year old, but had not engaged in any touching at this point.

"This case is particularly troubling because of Mr. Land's position of trust as a law enforcement officer," said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Houston. "HSI actively works with our law enforcement partners in our shared fight against those who sexually exploit children. Removing predators from our communities and bringing them to justice is a responsibility we take very seriously."

Experts classify this as typical predator grooming behavior. A forensic examination of computers and equipment collected from Land's residence showed that Land possessed more than 9,500 images and 62 videos portraying minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Prosecutor Liah Olsen, Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, 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 10,000 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 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

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. 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 and current chair 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.