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Child Exploitation

West Texas man pleads guilty in federal court to federal obscenity charge

LUBBOCK, Texas — A west Texas man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of attempting to transfer obscene material to a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Billy Ray Doyle, 59, of San Angelo, Texas, faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings ordered a pre-sentence investigation report; the sentencing date will be set after the report is completed. Doyle has been in custody since his arrest Dec. 19.

In late November 2012, HSI special agents noticed an advertisement posted on an Internet message board entitled "Looking for company 18-25ish –m4m," and determined that it was posted by Doyle. During ensuing email conversations between Doyle and an undercover agent who posed as a 15-year-old male, Doyle discussed such things as showering together, lying naked on a bed together and possibly engaging in other sexual activity. The undercover agent's age was discussed several times, and Doyle repeatedly promised that a potential sexual relationship would remain secret. On Dec. 15, Doyle emailed the undercover agent a sexually explicit photograph of himself. Doyle was arrested a few days later at a convenience store where he and the undercover agent had agreed to meet.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy, Northern District of Oklahoma, 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 1-866-347-2423 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.