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Child Exploitation

West Texas man pleads guilty in federal court to federal child pornography offense

ABILENE, Texas — A west Texas man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to receiving child pornography.

This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Big Spring Police Department.

Aaron Charles Lustfeldt, 27, of Big Spring, Texas, faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. A sentencing date was not set. This guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to court documents, on Feb. 1, 2013, Big Spring Police Department officers were dispatched to Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring regarding reports of a male who was exposing himself to children in the play area. Officers located Lustfeldt, who admitted being in the park, but denied doing anything inappropriate. He also stated that he was not supposed to be at the park because he was a registered sex offender. Later, as part of their investigation, officers located images of child pornography on his cell phone, and Lustfeldt eventually admitted that he had received and downloaded images from the Internet onto his cell phone.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Cunningham, Northern District of Texas's Lubbock Office, is prosecuting this case.

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 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.

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.