Corpus Christi Man Convicted of Possessing Child Pornography
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX—Winfred Eric Clanton, 68, of Corpus Christi, has pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
The investigation began when Corpus Christi Police received a cyber-tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about an e-mail address associated with child pornography. According to the tip, America Online (AOL) contacted NCMEC and advised them that AOL had discovered e-mails containing child pornography. Investigators determined Clanton was the Internet service subscriber associated with the e-mail address.
In November 2013, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant at Clanton’s residence, at which time they seized various electronic devices which forensic analysis later revealed 115 images of child pornography depicting prepubescent girls unclothed and posing in a sexually explicit manner. Clanton provided a statement to law enforcement admitting to having accessed the child pornography and having a sexual interest in children.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jason B. Libby accepted the guilty plea today and sentencing is set for July 16, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos. Clanton faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum fine as well as the possibility of up to life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet.
Clanton was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
Corpus Christi Police Department—Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI investigated the case.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hugo R. Martinez, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide 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 Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”