DALLAS - A physician and former chairman of John Peter Smith Hospital's Internal Medicine Department in Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty here Thursday to a "criminal information" charging him with one count of possessing child pornography. This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper, Northern District of Texas; the case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Dr. James Shin, 46, a recent resident of Southlake, Texas, pleaded guilty July 24 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Irma C. Ramirez. Shin, aka Young Jin Shin, and aka James Young-Jin Shin, faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is set for Oct. 2 before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade.
According to documents filed in court, Dr. Shin admitted that in September 2007 he used the Internet to download and possess images and videos of minor children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Based on an investigative lead from ICE's cyber-crime unit in Washington, D.C., an ICE special agent visited Shin's Southlake residence on Sept. 13, 2007, and Shin agreed to allow the agents to search his computer. A computer forensic analysis revealed numerous images and videos of child pornography, which included visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Shin admitted he knowingly possessed and acquired the images and videos of child pornography on his computer from public newsgroups on the Internet, and that he viewed child pornography. Some of the images of child pornography contained images of real children that have been identified through other law enforcement investigations throughout the nation.
This case was brought to prosecution as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet - and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
U.S. Attorney Roper commended the investigative efforts of ICE. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis is prosecuting this case.
This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 individuals, including more than 1,080 in Texas.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
A Criminal Information is when defendants waives their Constitutional right to be indicted by a federal grand jury on a felony charge.