Tuesday, October 28, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit Arrests Granbury Firefighter And Benbrook Man In Child Sex Crimes

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit today announced the arrest of two men in Granbury in separate incidents involving the sexual exploitation of children. One man was charged with attempting to meet a 13-year-old "girl" for sex, and the other with uploading and downloading child pornography on the Internet.


(Mullican, Kennedy)

"Our investigators know that crimes against children can occur not only in big cities, but in every community in Texas," said Attorney General Abbott. "It is an alarming trend that we hope to reverse by jailing these deviants. Parents should be ever-vigilant when it comes to supervising their children's activities on the Internet."

Cliff Neal Mullican, 33, a volunteer firefighter in Granbury, was arrested last Wednesday night, Oct. 22. Investigators, armed with a search warrant, seized computers from the home he shares with two other firefighters. Computer diskettes found with computers allegedly portray children engaged in sexual conduct.

Mullican is charged with promotion and possession of child pornography, second- and third-degree felonies. His bond was set at $60,000 last Thursday. Granbury Police Department officers assisted in these arrests.

"We want to thank the Granbury Police Department for its outstanding work in helping our Cyber Crimes Unit," said Abbott. "Through partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, Cyber Crimes officers can work to protect children across Texas."

New York City cyber investigators had taken over an Internet porn site containing an "Internet relay chat," which facilitates the sending and receiving of pornographic material. The New York officials were able to seize incoming uploaded child pornography and identify the sender. These investigators tipped Texas authorities to the activity in Granbury.

The Cyber Crimes Unit also arrested Todd Keith Kennedy, 41, of Benbrook, Monday. He was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, following his arrest at a retail store. He arrived in Granbury to meet what he thought would be an underage girl he met in an Internet chat room. The girl turned out to be one of Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes investigators. He is the 18th suspected child predator arrested by the unit since May.

The Cyber Crimes Unit has been working undercover with the Granbury Police Department in recent weeks in north Texas.

Another Granbury volunteer fireman, Lawrence Codell (Cody) Mann, 23, is serving a nine-year sentence after a jury found him guilty in September on nine counts of promotion and possession of child pornography.