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Government Agency News ICE breaking news

ALPINE, Texas – A west Texas man was sentenced Oct. 24, to over 157 years in prison for distributing and possessing child sexual abuse material following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Thomas Scott Perkins, 31, from Fort Stockton, was sentenced Oct. 25 in federal court to 1,890 months in federal prison.

“This lengthy sentence is a testament to the repugnant nature of child exploitation crimes, particularly the production of child pornography, which only perpetuates the trauma endured by victims,” said Francisco Burrola, Special Agent in Charge, HSI El Paso. “HSI agents make it a top priority to protect vulnerable children from victimization by working with their law enforcement partners to investigate predators involved with the possession and distribution of child pornography and ensure they are held accountable for their heinous actions.”

“The sentence demonstrates the horrors of this type of crime, which we will continue to relentlessly pursue,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “I want to express my deep gratitude to our law enforcement partners and dedicated prosecutors who worked to bring this defendant to justice.”

According to court documents , HSI special agents determined that Perkins was sharing child pornography online. A search warrant was executed at Perkins’ residence and multiple hard drive devices were discovered that contained 95,316 images and 1,237 videos of child sexual abuse material. On July 19, Perkins was found guilty by a federal jury sitting in Pecos, Texas, of one count of distribution of child pornography and eight counts of possession of child pornography. Perkins has remained in federal custody since his arrest on Sept. 14, 2020.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott V. Greenbaum and Kevin Cayton, Western District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 1-866-347-2423, or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around-the-clock by investigators. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) partners, and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC’s toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member 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.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify, and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 6,800 special agents assigned to 225 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

ICE breaking news HSI, federal partner investigation results in a significant prison sentence of a West Texas man for distributing child sexual abuse material Government Agency News