DALLAS – A local man pleaded guilty on Friday before Chief U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Dallas Police Department (DPD) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit.
Dustin Mishler, 29, admits in the plea documents that he has a 2006 conviction in Dallas County for possessing child pornography. Because of his criminal history, Mishler, who is in custody, faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than 10 or more than 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Fitzwater on Sept. 10.
Mishler freely admitted that he possessed images and videos of actual prepubescent children engaged in sexually explicit acts, and that some images and videos depicted sadistic and/or masochistic acts.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children advised Dallas Police Department (DPD) that they had received a cyber tip from AOL America Online) concerning an AOL subscriber who had transmitted child pornography over the AOL Internet service network on May 10, 2009. The investigation revealed that the subscriber was Mishler. DPD obtained a search warrant and executed it at Mishler’s residence on June 23, 2009. Mishler was not present, but his girlfriend and roommate indicated that Mishler had a computer, but had sold it a few weeks earlier to a pawn shop. Law enforcement seized a USB drive, paperwork, seven CDs and one DVD from the residence.
Law enforcement located Mishler’s pawned laptop computer at Cash America, just a few blocks from his residence, on June 3, 2009. A search warrant for the computer was obtained and a forensic examination, conducted by the North Texas Regional Computer Lab (NTRCFL), revealed that Mishler’s computer and USB drive contained three videos and 64 images of child pornography. The forensic exam also determined that Mishler had used Yahoo! Messenger to send images of child pornography.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks, Northern District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,800 individuals.
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