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Child Exploitation

Houston attorney sentenced to 48 months for possessing child pornography

HOUSTON – A Houston attorney was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for possessing child pornography. The sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes sentenced William George Gammon, 50, to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay $125,000 in restitution to each of the three victims, in addition to $3,000 in legal fees. Upon completion of his prison term, Gammon will serve a life term of supervised release.

The investigation into Gammon began when the ICE HSI Cybercrimes Center identified a commercial child pornography website. In November 2008, an undercover agent accessed and paid to join the website. Agents subsequently executed a federal search warrant on the server and recovered log files that included email addresses of subscribers, one of which was linked to Gammon.

In January 2009, an undercover agent paid for a second membership to the website. In February 2009, agents again executed a federal search warrant on the server and recovered log files which contained an email address linked to Gammon.

On Nov. 20, 2009, ICE HSI agents executed a federal search warrant at Gammon's residence. Gammon, a practicing civil attorney, was present and admitted to federal agents that he recognized the name of the child pornography website and admitted to purchasing a membership to it. During the search, agents found a small, locked safe which Gammon opened for them. Inside the safe, agents found a notepad with notes referencing child pornography websites.

A forensic exam performed on two Dell laptops seized at Gammon's residence revealed about 9,271 images and 101 videos of child pornography. Gammon pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of possession of child pornography on May 23.

Gammon was arrested in June 2010 and has been on bond since his arrest. He will be allowed to voluntarily surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This investigation was 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.