Federal Judge in Waco Hands Down Prison Terms to Project Safe Childhood Defendants | USAO-WDTX

In Waco, U.S. District Judge Alan Albright sentenced two men to lengthy federal prison terms for possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash.   

Today, Judge Albright sentenced 34-year-old Derek Loyd Ward of Whitney, TX, to 240 months in federal prison followed by ten years of supervised release.  Judge Albright also ordered that Ward pay $10,000 in restitution.  On October 8, 2019, Ward pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.  On May 30, 2019, authorities executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized his personal computer and related media.  A forensics review of the seized materials revealed the presence of approximately 550 videos and 875 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Yesterday, Judge Albright sentenced 28-year-old Tyler Christopher Benson of Killeen, TX, to 110 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.  On October 15, 2019, Benson pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.  On October 26, 2017, authorities executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized his laptop computer and cellular telephone.  A forensics review of the computer and cell phone revealed the presence of approximately 775 videos and 360 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

“Those who possess child pornography sustain the market for the abuse of children. Today’s sentence was richly deserved,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.

The Child Exploitation Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office investigated these cases.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gloff prosecuted these cases on behalf of the government.

These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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