Thursday, August 5, 2010

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Attorney General's Cyber Crimes Unit Arrests Prison Guard for Possession of Child Pornography

PALESTINE Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested Allen Lynn Ward, 47, of Palestine, for child pornography possession. At the time of his arrest on Wednesday, Ward indicated he was employed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) as a prison guard.

Yesterday’s arrest stemmed from a referral by the Oregon Department of Justice, which notified the Cyber Crimes Unit that Ward’s e-mail account appeared to be involved in trading child pornography. Cyber Crimes Unit investigators conducted a search of Ward’s residence. According to investigators, Ward possessed numerous illicit images of young children on his home computer and in print. Investigators will examine the seized evidence and determine whether Ward should face additional charges. At this time, all evidence involves Ward’s personal property. Neither state nor TDCJ resources are implicated.

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Allen Lynn Ward

The arrest was a joint operation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Office of the Inspector General also fully cooperated with the investigation and provided assistance to the Cyber Crimes Unit.

Ward remains in Anderson County Jail charged with child pornography possession a third-degree felony in lieu of a $1 million bond. If convicted, Ward faces two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. In 2003, he created the Cyber Crimes Unit, which protects children from online sexual exploitation. The Cyber Crimes Unit and the Fugitive Unit, which locates sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, have combined to arrest more than 2,000 sex offenders.

For more information on Attorney General Abbott’s efforts to crack down on sexual predators, visit the attorney general’s website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov or call (800) 252-8011.