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Child Exploitation

Georgia man sentenced on weapons and child pornography charges

BUFFALO, N.Y — A Georgia man who was convicted of possession of child pornography and possession of a weapon, was sentenced to three years in federal prison and five years of supervised release. The sentence is a result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI.

Anthony Derick Howard, 45, of Hinesville, Ga., attempted to cross the border March 30, 2011, at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry in Buffalo while operating a tractor-trailer. After being pulled over for a secondary inspection, he was found to be in possession of two knives and two firearms. Subsequent investigation determined Howard had been previously convicted of a felony in 1990 by a general court-martial while serving in the U.S. Army. The defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stabbing a civilian in the chest. Upon his release, he was discharged for bad conduct.

It is a violation of federal law for a convicted felon to be in possession of firearms or ammunition. A further search of Howard's truck revealed 13 additional knives, an empty military style weapon magazine and brass knuckles, among other items. A forensic examination of a computer the defendant had also revealed the presence of child pornography.

HSI's ongoing efforts to target suspects involved in child exploitation offenses are 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-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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles B. Wydysh, Western District of New York.