HOUSTON – A 30-year-old man was arrested Friday on child pornography charges stemming from an investigation by the Beaumont Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations, according to court documents.
Sammuel Lawrence Halworth, of Houston, is charged with promotion of child pornography with bail set at $20,000. An investigator with HIS-Houston’s Cyber Investigations Taskforce said that she was contacted by a detective with BPD about a possible child pornography offense in Houston.
The detective said that he had been conducting an undercover investigation in to the trafficking of child pornography using peer-to-peer (P2P) computer internet networks. He said that by using special software he was able to observe a computer at a specific internet protocol (IP) address possessing and offering for distribution digital photos and videos of child pornography over a P2P network.
The detective then made a direct connection to the suspect computer and was able to download four image files that constituted child pornography, court documents state.
Afterward, an HIS special agent sent a federal administrative subpoena to AT&T Internet Service Provider for the subscriber information pertaining to the suspect IP address.
The provider said that the suspect IP address was registered to a customer in the 2200 block of West 34th Street in Houston.
Federal agents then conducted surveillance on the address on West 34th and tracked down the subscriber to an apartment. The Cyber Investigations Group then approached the subscriber at the residence and conducted a search of her computer.
Investigators did not find any child pornography on the computer, but the subscriber said that her nephew, who lived next door, connected her wireless router and maintained her password.
The agents then spoke with the nephew identified as Halworth, who denied any knowledge of P2P file sharing or P2P networks. He also denied any knowledge of downloading child pornography.
Halworth said that if there was any child pornography on his computer that it may be from his time in Michigan. He said that his friends at the time may have used his computer without his knowing and downloaded something without his knowledge.
The suspect consented to a search of his computer where federal agents found 22 video files and 118 images, four of which were the same ones investigators had downloaded before.