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Convicted Sex Offender Pleads Guilty To Possessing Child Porn

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Erick Fernando Duarte, 58, of Garland, appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney and pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

Duarte, who was in federal custody since his arrest in May 2015, faces a statutory penalty of not less than 10 years and up to 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release.

According to documents filed in the case, in April 2014, a detective with the Garland Police Department received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that child pornography was uploaded to an AOL account by a specific AOL email user. Based on this, subscriber information, and information reported on his updated sex offender registry, Duarte was identified as the user.

A search warrant was secured and executed for Duarte's home and cell phone. A review of his cell phone and other media revealed that he had more than 1200 images of child pornography, including images of prepubescent children involved in sex acts, on his cell phone. Duarte admitted that some of the images depicted sadistic and/or violent content.

Duarte was convicted in the 265th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas, in October 1995, for the felony assault of Sexual Assault of a Child.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

The FBI and the Garland Police Department are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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