WICHITA FALLS, Texas - A man from Burkburnett, Texas,
pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of possessing child pornography,
announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of
Texas. This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations
William L. Ferguson, 38, was arrested Sept. 2 on a related charge outlined in a federal criminal complaint, but was released on bond. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release; sentencing is set for Feb. 15 before U.S. District Judge Reed C. O'Connor.
According to court documents filed, ICE HSI special agents visited the Ferguson residence on Dec. 23, 2009 based on a lead from the ICE Cyber Crimes Center. The lead concerned a target at the Ferguson residence who was accessing and possessing child pornography, via the Internet, using peer-to-peer software. An examination of Ferguson's computer and related storage media was performed, and agents discovered child pornography.
Ferguson, a member of the U.S. Air Force, admitted that he used the Internet to acquire child pornography and that he viewed and saved to his computer images of girls engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex C. Lewis, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.