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Child Exploitation

West Texas man pleads guilty to federal child pornography offense

ABILENE, Texas – A local man appeared in federal court Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Scott Frost, and pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Trevor J. Arias, 25, of Abilene, faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years nor more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Sentencing will be set at a later date before U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis, in Abilene.

Arias was indicted in March on four counts of receiving child pornography, one count of transporting child pornography, and two counts of possessing child pornography. In plea documents filed June 26, he admitted that in August 2011, he knowingly received a file, via the Internet, that depicted a female child engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to the plea agreement filed in the case, the government will dismiss, after sentencing, all remaining charges in the pending indictment.

The investigation is being conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, is 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.