ABILENE, Texas — A west Texas man pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Scott Frost to one count of possessing prepubescent child pornography.
This guilty plea was announced by John Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Abilene Police Department and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations investigated this case.
Charles Coci, 26, of Abilene, Texas, who is on bond, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing will be set at a later date.
According to documents filed in the case, Coci used a laptop computer at his residence to search the Internet for images and videos of child pornography. In the course of searching for this material, Coci located, downloaded and viewed numerous images and videos constituting child pornography. Some of those images involved prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, is prosecuting 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 12,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, 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.
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.