Friday, January 19, 2007
Cyber Crimes Unit Investigation Leads To Six-Year Prison Sentence For Former Police OfficerAUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit today obtained a guilty plea from former New Braunfels police officer Justin Broussard, 44, on eight counts of possession of child pornography. State District Judge Dwight Peschel sentenced Broussard to six years in state prison on each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Broussard must also register as a sex offender and permanently relinquish his peace officer certification.
“Texans will not tolerate criminals who exploit our children,” said Attorney General Abbott. “The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue its aggressive crackdown on child pornographers and sexual predators who rob our children of their innocence. These dangerous predators will be brought to justice for their despicable crimes.”
The Cyber Crimes Unit received a referral from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s San Antonio office after Broussard purchased illegal DVDs from an Internet merchant. With the help of FBI agents, Cyber Crimes Unit investigators conducted a search of Broussard’s home. Subsequent forensic examination of electronic media obtained during the search revealed sexually explicit images of young children. Cyber Crimes Unit investigators arrested Broussard on Aug. 5, 2006.
“We are very grateful to FBI Special Agent in Charge Ralph Diaz, his office, and Guadalupe County District Attorney Vicki Pattillo for their tremendous assistance with this case,” added Attorney General Abbott. “It is an honor to work side-by-side with local law enforcement as we strive toward a Texas that is safer for our children.”
On Nov. 1, 2006, a Guadalupe County grand jury issued an eight-count indictment charging Broussard with possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has aggressively cracked down on sexual predators. In 2002, he launched the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms, and the Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders wh violate the terms of their parole. As a result, more than 500 sexual predators have been arrested and prosecutors have obtained more than 50 convictions for child pornography.