Wednesday, October 4, 2006

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Amarillo-Area Man Convicted For Child Pornography, Gets Prison Time After Undercover Attorney General Investigation

AMARILLO – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott commended an Armstrong jury for convicting an Amarillo-area man Tuesday who e-mailed sexually explicit images of children to an undercover Cyber Crimes Unit investigator who was posing as a young teen online.

Mike Lee Campbell, 50, of Claude, was assessed punishment of 10 years in prison on each of two counts of promotion of child pornography, with the sentences to run concurrently. The jury also determined he should serve 10 years on each of nine counts of possession of child pornography, probated to run concurrently. Formal sentencing has been postponed by the 47th District Judge Hal Miner.

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Mike Campbell

“People who possess and send child pornography are robbing our children of their innocence and inflicting harm that these young ones will feel for the rest of their lives,” said Attorney General Abbott. “I commend this jury for taking a stand on behalf of Texas children. The conviction and punishment assessed in this case is a statement of condemnation for such acts against children, and it is a reminder that we must continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of these dangerous predators.”

In April 2005, Campbell used a Web camera to display child pornography online to a person whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The “girl” was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes investigator. In September 2005, a search warrant was executed at the grain elevator in Claude where Campbell worked as a facility manager. A computer and external media were confiscated, and forensic analysis revealed images and video of children engaged in sexual conduct.

An Armstrong County grand jury returned the set of indictments against Campbell in March 2006. He remains free on bond until formal sentencing.

Promotion of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Possession is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Attorney General Abbott has made pursuing sexual predators a top priority of his administration. The Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined for over 500 arrests of such offenders since Abbott took office in December 2002. His office also has obtained convictions against 50 men on child pornography charges.

To find out more about Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.