A 34-year-old Dallas man has been sentenced to over 12 years in federal prison for child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown recently.

Joshua David LeCompte pleaded guilty on Feb. 21 to distribution of child pornography. On Thursday, he was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

According to information provided by Brown's office and presented in court, in August 2016, a law enforcement officer received a tip that an individual had uploaded multiple files containing child pornography onto an Internet-based communications software application.

An investigation led to LeCompte's address in Collin County. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at LeCompte's residence and seized digital media items from the residence. A forensic analysis of the digital media revealed a substantial amount of child pornography files that LeComte had distributed to others. LeCompte was indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 12, 2018.

“This lengthy sentence should send a strong message to predators who think they are anonymously exploiting children by using the internet,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Dallas. “Homeland Security Investigations special agents are highly skilled and trained to use the most advanced technology available to locate, identify and investigate these monsters who collect and distribute this kind of horrific material that traumatizes victims for the rest of their lives. We aggressively work with community members and our law enforcement partners to rescue these innocent children and prosecute their exploiters.”

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was investigated by HSI Dallas, the Dallas Police Department and the Collin County District Attorney's Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller.