CONROE, Texas — A former Texas A&M Forest Service wildland firefighter was ordered to serve 30 years in state prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting a girl for more than nine years, starting when she was 8 years old.
This case was investigated by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO), with assistance from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.
On March 6, in the 359th Montgomery County (Texas) District Court, Jeffrey Pittman, 47, from Porter, Texas, pleaded guilty to and was ordered to serve 30 years in prison for continuous sexual assault of a child; he was also sentenced to 20 years for sexual assault of a child. Pittman’s sentences are to be served concurrently. He is not eligible for early parole.
In March 2018, MCSO began investigating Pittman for allegations of child sex abuse. After it was discovered that he had taken inappropriate photographs of a girl, HSI Houston and the Montgomery County ICAC Task Force were brought in to assist with the investigation.
A forensic search of Pittman’s cellphone revealed numerous pornographic images of children. Investigators subsequently uncovered evidence to confirm suspicions that Pittman had engaged in sex acts with a girl for more than nine years, from the time she was about 8 years old.
Following the announcement, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Mark Dawson, HSI Houston, commended the lengthy sentence and assured the public that removing child predators from the streets remains a top priority for HSI.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Laura Bond credited the strong partnerships in the Houston-area law enforcement community for ensuring that justice was served.
“It was because of the collaboration with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and other members of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Taskforce that this child was able to get the justice she deserves,” said Prosecutor Bond.
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 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) 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.