Houston, Texas (KETK) — A Houston man pleaded guilty Thursday, November 7, to producing and distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.
This investigation was conducted by the Galveston and Albuquerque, New Mexico, offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Pearland Police Department, as part of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes against Children Task Force.
Travis James McReynolds, 33, of Pearland, was chatting online with an undercover officer in a New Mexico sting operation, when the undercover officer received three images and several videos of child pornography from McReynolds. One video appeared to be a webcam video of a minor female under the age of 13 performing graphic sexual acts. Similar still images of other girls were also e-mailed to the undercover officer.
The officer was able to trace the Internet Service Provider to McReynold’s address in Pearland. The undercover officer also received a short video clip of what turned out to be a young teen girl that McReynolds had produced himself. Based on this video, the undercover officer contacted Galveston area law enforcement regarding this information.
On October 20, 2012, a state search warrant was executed at McReynold’s apartment in Pearland, at which time two laptop computers were seized revealing child pornography. Upon questioning, McReynolds admitted to obtaining child pornography by chatting with others via the Internet. Forensic analysis resulted in discovering 132 images and 35 videos of child pornography on the two seized computers.
McReynolds pleaded guilty November 7, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Froeschner. Sentencing is set for January 22 before U.S. District Judge Gregg Costa. At that time McReynolds faces a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years imprisonment for producing child pornography, as well as up to 20 years for distributing it. He also faces a potential fine of $250,000, and up to life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit him using the Internet. McReynolds will remain in custody pending that hearing.
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 1-866-347-2823 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 28-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.