Last year, in a blog post we published back in February of 2014, we discussed a coming flood of criminal indictments for “Possession of Child Pornography” expected to come out of Montgomery County, Texas. I have to say we might have hit the nail on the head.
Sex crimes involving children are serious criminal offenses that the FBI is often involved in the investigation of.
Just as recently as September, a case made the news about a man who worked for the Montgomery County library system that was arrested for possession of child pornography. According to the story on KHOU’s website,
“Timothy Alcala was arrested on August 22 after authorities found hundreds of images on his computer in his Conroe home”,
and even more interesting,
Officials said his illegal activity dates back to 2010 and that federal authorities alerted them to the situation a few months ago.
If you’ve read our previous post where we talked about geographically targeted sweeps searching for hashtag values of known imagery depicting children in sexually explicit situations, then you might have an idea on how this man may have fallen under the scope of FBI radars, and was probably caught by surprise with this case. However, he may have appeared on their radar after his alleged use of social media to perpetrate these crimes.
The leverage he allegedly used against unsuspecting children on social media to get them to provide the sexually explicit content he wanted; Threatening to kill himself.
The Magnolia Man Given Probation
Back in November another Montgomery County man was arrested and charged with possession of child porn. Authorities claim he possessed some of the worse depictions of child sex acts they had ever seen in the Houston area. Some of the videos in his possession are reported to have been lengthy.
The significance of this case? The FBI was likely involved via the ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) Task Force.
The ICAC Task Force was created to help Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to sexually exploit children. The Program is funded by the United States Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
This case came about after local law enforcement was “tipped off” by a shadowy source. I consider it a 4th amendment violation perpetrated by the practice of data mining and hashtag search sweeps. I could be wrong. Its just a quick opinion.
The Cable Guy
Here is a another case where the suspect may have been targeted by law enforcement “online”.
Back in December, another man, a Montgomery County cable installation technician, was arrested for the possession and promotion of pornographic material depicting sexual explicit images of children. According to the report, police appeared at the mans door unannounced, entered his home, and discovered that he was not only in possession of child porn, but also active in promoting/distributing the pornographic material as well.
Although he is a registered sex offender, one can only wonder how he fell under the radar of law enforcement.
Texas Sex Crimes Attorney Jack B. Carroll
We don’t condone acts that are harmful to anyone, especially children. However, we need to acknowledge the use of stealthily implemented technology used to snoop on suspected criminals. These activities are likely violations of the 4th Amendment. This non-publicly acknowledged technology in use by law enforcement is subject to abuse as much as it is a protective device for our children.
There are many, many more examples of police intuitively discovering illegal child pornographic material on the computers of people who may, or may not, know the material is on their computer.
The question is, how are the police finding out?
As a criminal defense attorney in Texas for over 23 years, I can tell you there are a number of defense strategies for persons facing charges for sex crimes, and a number of instances where we can prove the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated by law enforcement.