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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Convicted sex offender in Mineral Wells, Texas, arrested and detained on federal child pornography charge

FORT WORTH, Texas - A man from Mineral Wells, Texas, was arrested this week on a federal criminal complaint charging him with distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas.

Following a detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton ordered that Anthony R. Sherley, 41, remain in custody pending further court proceedings. This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Dallas Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The investigation revealed that Sherley using AOL to discuss and exchange images of child pornography of children under the age of six, engaged in distributing child pornography. Further investigation revealed that Sherley was a convicted sex offender who had served 10 years in prison for an indecency with a child conviction in 1998. When a federal search warrant was executed at Sherley's residence in Mineral Wells, agents located a collection of printed child pornography images and printed sex stories involving sex acts with prepubescent females.

A federal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. A defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. If convicted of this offense, however, Sherley faces a statutory sentence of not less than 15 years or more than 40 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. The U.S. Attorney's office has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury for indictment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Lewis is in charge of the prosecution.

This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

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