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Child Exploitation

West Texas man sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on federal child pornography conviction

ABILENE, Texas — A west Texas man was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis to 20 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea in June to one count of receiving child pornography.

This sentence was announced by 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), and the Big Spring Police Department.

According to documents filed in the case, on Feb. 1 the Big Spring Police Department was dispatched to Comanche Trail Park in Big Spring regarding a male exposing himself to children in the play area. Officers located Aaron Charles Lustfeldt, 27, of Big Spring, Texas, who admitted being in the park, but denied doing anything inappropriate, stating 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. Lustfeldt eventually admitted that he had received and downloaded images from the Internet onto his cell phone.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Cunningham, of the U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas, in Lubbock, Texas, prosecuted 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.