U.S. Attorneys Office District of New Mexico on June 30, 2011 released the following press release:
“ALBUQUERQUE – This morning in federal court in Albuquerque, John A. Crowe, 51, was arraigned on a five-count indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. The indictment charges Crowe with (1) advertising a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (2) transporting a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct; (3 & 4) distribution and attempted distribution of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on two separate dates; and (5) possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted of the charges in the indictment, Crowe faces a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years and will be required to register as a sex offender. Crowe entered a not guilty plea to the indictment during this morning’s proceedings. Crowe has been in federal custody since his arrest on a criminal complaint on May 28, 2011; he remains detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
Crowe was employed as a screener by the United States Transportation Security Administration and recently had relocated to Albuquerque from Ohio when he was arrested on child pornography charges on May 28, 2011. United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that Crowe was arrested in Albuquerque based on an investigation by the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) and the United States Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The criminal complaint alleges that, based on investigation in March and April of 2011, the NMSP and HSI learned that an IP address subscribed to by Crow at an Albuquerque address was being used to distribute child pornography. On May 26, 2011, officers and agents of the NMSP and HSI executed a search warrant at Crowe’s apartment and seized a computer and computer-related media. According to the complaint, Forensic investigation revealed that the computer contained images and videos of child pornography, including images and videos that appeared to have been taken with a hidden camera in a bedroom and bathroom in an unidentified residence. Several images that appeared to be taken with a hidden camera were of young females, both clothed and unclothed, who appeared to be under the age of 18.
According to the complaint, on May 28, 2011, after being advised of his Miranda rights, Crowe participated in a consensual interview during which he allegedly stated that he had obtained certain images and videos containing child pornography in Ohio, Alabama and Georgia by use of a hidden camera. Crowe allegedly stated that some of the minors in the images and videos were daughters of his past girlfriends, and that, when he moved from Ohio to Albuquerque in November 2010, he brought his computer, which contained the images and videos of child pornography, with him. Crowe also allegedly stated that he continued to have contact with three of the minors depicted in the images and videos that contained the child pornography.
Charges in indictments are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlyn E. Rees, and was investigated by the NMSP and HSI. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case also was brought as part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.”
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