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Child Exploitation

North Texas man sentenced to the maximum of 70 years in federal prison for producing, possessing child pornography

Dickson took pornographic photos of baby boy entrusted to his care

FORT WORTH, Texas - A north Texas man was sentenced Friday to the maximum possible sentence of 70 years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, Northern District of Texas; the case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Bryan K. Dickson, 47, of Keller, Texas, (formerly of Arlington, Texas), had been convicted on June 8 on one count each of producing and possessing child pornography. During the bench trial, an ICE agent testified that while executing a search warrant at Dickson's residence in March, Dickson directed them to a computer disk that contained numerous images of child pornography. He told the agents that he had been viewing child pornography since 2006. He admitted his urge to touch young boys, preferring 4- to 5-year-olds. Dickson said that he fantasized about having sex with 4-year-old boys, and he satisfied his urges by accessing child pornography and masturbating.

After ingratiating himself to a family in 2007, Dickson volunteered to babysit their young sons. During the search, agents found four pornographic images of the family's 1-year old son on Dickson's digital camera.

"This significant sentence demonstrates how destructive Dickson has been in society by producing and possessing child pornography," said John Chakwin Jr., special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Dallas. "Although we cannot undo the damage he's done to his innocent victims, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring these child pornographers to justice." Chakwin oversees 128 counties in north Texas and the State of Oklahoma.

"The production and possession of child pornography is not a victimless crime," said U.S. Attorney Jacks. "The sentence in this case is reflective of the harm that is inflicted on the most vulnerable members of our society, our children. Hopefully, it will get the attention of and serve as a deterrent to anyone else considering engaging in such activity."

In 1988, Dickson was convicted in New Jersey for sexually assaulting a child. Evidence was presented during his most recent detention hearing that Dickson had been searching for babysitting jobs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area when he was arrested in March 2009.  Most recently, Dickson worked in Dallas at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant, at the Dallas Zoo, and at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, Texas. He has been in federal custody since his arrest.

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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.

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 www.cybertipline.com.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.