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Child Exploitation

North Texas man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for transporting child pornography

DALLAS — A north Texas man was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison for transporting and shipping child pornography.

Evan Richards, 22, of Garland, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn after pleading guilty earlier this year to an Information charging one count of transporting and shipping child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Garland Police Department.

According to documents filed in the case, a detective with the Garland Police Department, working online in an undercover capacity, identified a computer using a peer-to-peer program and the Internet to share images of child pornography. The investigation revealed that the computer belonged to Richards. A search warrant was executed at Richards' residence on Sept. 18, 2012, and law enforcement seized his computer. Richards admitted that he downloaded images and videos that he made available for sharing and that he believed there were about 2,000 child pornography files on his computer. He admitted downloading child pornography for three to four years using file-sharing software.

Richards has been in custody since he pleaded guilty in January.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, 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 producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking 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.