DALLAS - A man from Campbell, Texas, was sentenced on Wednesday to 12 years in federal prison, following his December 2010 guilty plea to one count of possessing child pornography. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Donald Means has been in custody since his arrest in November 2009 on a related federal criminal complaint. He is a registered sex offender, having been convicted in the Eastern District of Texas in December 2002 on one count each of possessing and receiving child pornography. He was sentenced to serve 54 months in prison, but was released from prison in April 2007. At the time of his recent offense, Means was on supervised release for those convictions.
According to documents filed in the case, on Oct. 20, 2009, the Hunt County Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with police officers from surrounding cities, was conducting compliance checks of the registered sex offenders residing in their county. At about 8:30 p.m., law enforcement from the following agencies arrived at Means' residence in Campbell: Hunt County Sheriff's Office, Greenville Police Department, Hunt County Constable's Office, and Commerce Police Department. Means signed a consent form allowing officers inside the house to conduct the compliance check. Officers observed a desktop computer in Means' bedroom and obtained consent from Means to search it. They found suspect images on his computer, and based on the nature of those images, they seized his computer for further examination.
The following day, a ICE HSI forensic agent examined Means' computer and found about 40 composite ("cut and paste" or "morphed") image files depicting images of prepubescent females engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Means admitted that he had created the composite images on his computer and stated that the source of the nude adult male images was a computer disk containing adult pornography. He admitted that the images of the prepubescent females in the image files came from pictures of minor females he found in art magazines and/or other advertisements.
In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis ordered that Means, 63, serve a lifetime of supervised release.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa J. Miller, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case. 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. 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 http://www.cybertipline.com.