Danny Boye Cook, 37 years of age, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Irene C. Berger to transporting by his computer images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
An undercover investigation revealed that on August 16, 2011, Cook began communicating via Facebook with a person whom he believed to be a 12-year-old boy located in Victoria, Texas. Unbeknownst to Cook, the 12-year-old boy was actually an undercover law enforcement officer working in an undercover online child exploitation operation in an attempt to catch child predators on the Internet. A short time after Cook contacted the person he believed to be a 12-year-old boy, Cook suggested that the two of them continue to communicate online by way of Yahoo Instant Message. After the two of them chatted online for a period of time, Cook transported by his computer 19 images and four videos of minor boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct, that is, actual or simulated sexual intercourse.
On August 19, 2011, an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a search of Cook’s residence. During the search, the officers located Cook’s computer and a forensic examination revealed that Cook possessed on his computer more than 600 images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. On that same date, Cook admitted to law enforcement officers that he knew the images and videos constituted child pornography.
Cooke faces a minimum mandatory of five years and up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release when he is sentenced on July 12, 2012.