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Child Exploitation

North Texas man sentenced to 17 ½ years in federal prison on child pornography conviction

Child pornography was discovered on man's cell phone that he left at a gas station

DALLAS — A north Texas man was sentenced Friday to 17 ½ years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release following his February guilty plea to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Most recently a resident of Red Oak, Texas, Scott Tartan, 32, has been in custody since his arrest in late January 2012.

According to documents filed in the case, on Jan. 3, 2012, an individual found a cell phone on top of a Lancaster, Texas, gas station gas pump. The individual turned the phone in to the Lancaster Police Department after discovering what appeared to be child pornography in the phone's memory. The Lancaster Police Department examined the phone and identified several text messages exchanged with another cell phone that contained images of children and infants engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults. Further investigation revealed that the phone was registered to Tartan.

A forensic analyst with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) also examined the phone and found multiple images of child pornography. Tartan admitted that he had been receiving and sending images of child pornography on his cell phone for about six months, and that he had used a social network to find people with whom to exchange child pornography. He admitted that he possessed images of sadistic acts involving minors.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service, the Lancaster Police Department and HSI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.

This investigation was 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-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.