Collin County man convicted of child pornography violations | USAO-EDTX
SHERMAN, Texas – An Allen man has been convicted by a jury of federal child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, Acting US Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei announced today.
Clay Melton Denton, 56, was convicted of distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography today by a jury following a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III .
“Those who view and sell child pornography are perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and abuse by providing a market for producers,” Interim US Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei said. “The Eastern District of Texas will do everything in its power to eradicate this terrible industry – and make no mistake, it is an industry – by doing so with the help of our enforcement partners. federal, state and local laws. “
“The sheer volume of devices and images recovered by investigators in this case is staggering. I commend the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, Garland and Plano Police Departments, and the North Texas Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory for their diligence in handling evidence to better serve justice in this investigation, ” said Matthew J. DeSarno, FBI special agent in Dallas. “With our partners, we are committed to ensuring that distributors of abusive content are held accountable so that we can protect the most vulnerable members of our population. “
“This important collaboration with our local and federal law enforcement partners continues to catch these criminals in an effort to keep our communities safe,” said Plano Police Chief Ed Drain. “We are very grateful to everyone involved in this matter. ”
“I am proud of the work done by our police service, and cases like these show the importance and effectiveness of working together not only at the local level but also at the federal level,” said the police chief. by Garland, Jeff Bryan. “The safety of our communities is the top priority, and these are the types of people we need on our streets.”
According to court documents and testimony at trial, in January and March 2018, undercover officers from the Plano and Garland Police Departments received child pornography, via an online platform, which was distributed to them by a user of the Police Department. ‘computer. Officers traced the behavior online to the Denton Residence in Allen, Texas. FBI members obtained a search warrant for the residence, which they served on April 25, 2018. The search team discovered several digital devices in the residence, including server racks, network storage devices , laptops, hard drives, cell phones and digital storage media. Officers testified that the entire second floor of the house was filled with floor-to-ceiling bookcases containing digital devices, manuals and peripherals. Additional testimony revealed that the forensic analysis of the seized devices took nearly a year. During this forensic analysis, staff discovered tens of thousands of images and videos of child pornography. Specifically, the evidence showed that a laptop computer owned by Denton and located on one of its desks contained the same software that was used to distribute child pornography to undercover officers. This software was also used to obtain child pornography, which was recorded on another part of Denton’s computer. Evidence also revealed that the child pornography was located on a storage device over 60 terabytes that Denton owned and possessed. A federal grand jury rendered an indictment charging Denton with federal violations on September 11, 2019.
On June 11, 2021, the jury returned a guilty verdict on all counts. Under federal law, Denton faces up to 20 years in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for your information, as the sentence will be determined by the court based on the sentencing advisory guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of an investigation into the presentation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is part of the Safe Childhood Project, a national initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Prosecutor’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), the Safe Childhood Project mobilizes federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute those who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. . For more information on the Safe Childhood Project, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by the Plano Police Department, Garland Police Department, and the FBI Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force and was prosecuted by Deputy U.S. Prosecutors Marisa Miller and Maureen Smith.