Thursday, November 15, 2007

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Cyber Crimes Unit Investigation Leads to Federal Child Pornography Conviction for Mabank Man

TYLER – A former waste treatment facility manager investigated and prosecuted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit was convicted Wednesday on child pornography charges.

Harrison Havens, Jr., 55, of Mabank, who appeared before U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis, was found guilty of one count of transporting and four counts of possessing child pornography. Havens will be sentenced at a later date. Assistant Attorney General Sarah Wannarka prosecuted the case in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

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Harrison Havens
Harrison Havens

“This defendant illegally stockpiled and distributed child pornography,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Texans will not tolerate criminals who exploit children. The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue arresting and prosecuting sex predators and child pornographers.”

Attorney General Abbott added: “We are grateful to Acting U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe 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 images and videos of child pornography. The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Havens in New York in April following his indictment on federal charges.

Havens faces a minimum of five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for the transportation charge. Each possession charge carries punishment of up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine.

The case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative that encourages the use of multi-jurisdictional task forces to investigate and prosecute the sexual exploitation of children online. In Texas, investigative assistance in these cases is provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, which is one of almost 50 federally funded task forces across the country dedicated to this project. For more information on Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting child predators. Since 2003, the Cyber Crimes Unit and Fugitive Unit have arrested more than 600 sex predators. Prosecutors also have obtained convictions against more than 70 men on child pornography charges.

For more information about Attorney General Abbott’s crackdown on sex offenders, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.