Thursday, April 12, 2007
Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey upon children, Attorney General Abbott said. The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to protect young Texans by aggressively cracking down on sexual predators. We are grateful to U.S. Attorney Matt Orwig and the U.S. Marshals Service for their commitment to collaboration and strict law enforcement.
Cyber Crimes Unit investigators conducted a search of Havens’ residence after a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicated that he was distributing child pornography over the Internet. Forensic analysis of computers and external media confiscated at his home revealed several videos of child pornography. At the time of the Attorney General’s investigation, Havens was working as a waste treatment facility manager.
The case is one of many pursued under Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a national initiative announced by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales earlier this year. PSC encourages the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and the sexual exploitation of children over the Internet. In addition to tough law enforcement, PSC encourages community-wide campaigns to assist victims and to educate parents, other adults, and children about Internet safety. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Orwig said, This program is successfully utilizing the cooperative efforts of state and federal authorities and combating sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. We will continue to work closely with the Texas Attorney General's Office in eradicating this plague from the Eastern District of Texas.
In Texas, investigative assistance in these matters is provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). In May 2006, Attorney General Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention to establish an ICAC Task Force. The Texas Attorney General’s ICAC Task Force is one of almost 50 federally funded task forces across the country dedicated to this project.
Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he launched the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children. Attorney General Abbott’s initiative has resulted in more than 500 arrests of such offenders. His office also has obtained convictions against 60 men on child pornography charges.
For more information, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.