FORT WORTH, TX—Todd M. Fowler, 47, of Arlington, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton to a federal felony information charging one count of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Fowler faces a statutory sentence of not less than five years or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to a lifetime of supervised release. He has been released on conditions, pending sentencing which is set for November 13, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means.
According to documents filed in the case, Fowler used file-sharing software to receive images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On May 28, 2011, a search warrant was executed at Fowler’s residence. That same day, Fowler was en route to his home from a trip to Hong Kong via the San Francisco International Airport. At the airport, officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized his MacBook computer that he had used to download child pornography. A forensic examination of the MacBook revealed Fowler possessed 43 videos and 354 still images of child pornography on the computer.
This matter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the Plano Police Department, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Saleem is in charge of the prosecution.