EL PASO, Texas – A convicted sex offender, who is also required to register as a sex offender for life, remains in federal custody after his arrest Wednesday on child pornography charges.
This case was investigated by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Christopher Peter Swan, 30, is charged with possessing, receiving and distributing child pornography.
HSI special agents assigned to HSI’s Cyber Crimes Group executed a federal search warrant Jan. 8 at Swan’s home in northeast El Paso. The special agents seized various items including desktop computers, external drives and other electronic media devices. A preliminary forensic examination of the desktop computers revealed videos depicting minors being sexually exploited.
According to court records, Swan told HSI special agents he downloaded and possesses a large amount of child pornography. He stated he prefers child pornography that involves 10-year-old children and older.
Swan is a registered sex offender, who was arrested July 27, 2005, for possessing and distributing child pornography. On Dec. 12, 2006, following his conviction, he was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in federal prison, which was to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was released from prison in 2012.
"Crimes against children will not be tolerated," said Dennis A. Ulrich, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. "HSI will pursue anyone who sexually exploits children."
The advent of technologies, such as the Internet, has tremendously increased predators’ accessibility to child pornography, Ulrich said. But HSI can use similar technologies to identify and catch these child predators.
Swan made his initial appearance Jan. 9 in court, where a U.S. federal magistrate judge ordered him to remain detained pending court proceedings. His detention hearing is set for Jan. 14.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.