Wednesday, May 14, 2008

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Mabank Resident Investigated and Prosecuted by Cyber Crimes Unit Sentenced to More Than 17 Years in Prison

TYLER – A former waste treatment facility manager investigated and prosecuted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit for stockpiling and distributing child pornography received a 17.5-year federal prison sentence on Tuesday.

Harrison Havens, 56, of Mabank, was convicted in November 2007 on four counts of child pornography possession and one count of child pornography transportation. Upon release, Havens will be supervised for five years and will be required to register as a sex offender for life. 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

“The 17-and-a-half year sentence handed down by Judge Leonard Davis holds this defendant accountable for storing and distributing images of child sexual abuse,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue arresting and prosecuting sex predators and child pornographers. We are grateful to U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe and the U.S. Marshals Service for their continuing commitment to Texas children.”

Cyber Crimes Unit investigators searched 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 Havens’ home revealed several hundred images and videos of child pornography. The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Havens in New York in April 2007 following his indictment on federal charges. At the time of the investigation, Havens worked as a waste treatment facility manager.

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, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.