Denton County Man Sentenced for Transporting Child Pornography
PLANO, TX—A 37-year-old Denton, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Joe Edward Cummings pleaded guilty on Sep. 16, 2015, to transporting child pornography in interstate commerce and was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.
According to information presented in court, in September 2014, the Texas Rangers and the Justin Police Department initiated an investigation when the social media platform Twitter reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual using a computer in Cummings’ residence had posted child pornography on Twitter. Law enforcement obtained and executed a search warrant at Cummings’ house on Oct. 1, 2014. At that time, officers seized a number of digital devices, including a computer tablet belonging to Cummings. Forensic agents located child pornography on Cummings’ tablet during a forensic review of the seized digital media. As the investigation continued, officers discovered that Cummings, who was then a sworn peace officer with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, had transported child pornography onto an online file hosting service for cloud storage, as well as through other social media platforms and online communication services.
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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Texas Department of Public Safety—Texas Rangers, and the Justin, Texas Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa J. Miller.