Thursday, July 3, 2008

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Rio Grande Valley Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography

MCALLEN – A McAllen man facing child pornography charges entered a guilty plea Wednesday. In an appearance before the 139th District Court, Jack Arnold Heflin, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of child pornography promotion and a single count of possession. The case was investigated and prosecuted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit.

Heflin, who was arrested and booked into the Hidalgo County Jail on March 17, will be sentenced at a later date. Assistant Attorney General Heather Youree prosecuted the case in conjunction with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office.

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Jack Heflin
Jack Heflin

Video of Jack Heflin's arrest

“This suspect pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue protecting young Texans by aggressively investigating and prosecuting sex predators who use the Internet to prey on children. We are grateful to the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with this case.”

The Cyber Crimes Unit conducted forensic analysis of Heflin’s computer equipment after discovering that he was sharing child pornography through a file-sharing Web site. The examination uncovered approximately 20 child pornography images and videos. At the time of the investigation, Heflin was employed at a retail store.

Under Texas law, possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. 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.

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 700 sex predators. Prosecutors also have obtained convictions against more than 80 men on child pornography charges.

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