BEAUMONT, TX—Two Southeast Texas residents have pleaded guilty to child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Stacey Marie Barron, 24, of Nederland, Texas; and Johnny Ray Baldwin, II, 27, of Lumberton, Texas, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce child pornography today before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, on February 1, 2012, federal officials conducted a search warrant at a home in Orange County, Texas, after receiving information from an Internet-based image hosting website reporting that a customer had uploaded digital images from a cell phone that contained sexually explicit conduct of a young child and an adult. An investigation revealed that although the adult in the photos was deceased, another person identified as Charles Reese had been paying money for several years in return for digital pictures of sexually explicit conduct involving minor children. On March 12, 2012, a search warrant was executed at Reese’s home in Louisiana, during which multiple child pornography images and videos were discovered. Financial records indicate Reese paid over $700,000 between 2004 and 2012 for the production of child pornography.
Reese was arrested on March 5, 2012, and indicted by a federal grand jury on March 21, 2012. He pleaded guilty on May 24, 2012, and is awaiting sentencing.
Further investigation led to additional child pornography thst had been produced by Barron and Baldwin for Reese from July 2009 to August 2011 using two young children. A federal grand jury returned an indictment on June 6, 2012, charging Barron and Baldwin with child pornography violations.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Barron, Baldwin, and Reese each face a minimum of 15 years, and up to 30 years, in federal prison. Sentencing dates have not been set.
This case is being investigated by the FBI, Jefferson County Child Protective Services, the Garth House, and Orange County Sheriff’s Office and is being prosecuted by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher T. Tortorice.