Man pleads guilty in Texarkana federal court to possessing child porn

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A Red River County, Texas, man pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of child pornography before a federal judge in Texarkana.

James Thomas Tucker, 36, appeared with Assistant Federal Public Defender Kenneth Hawk before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven for a plea hearing Wednesday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Tucker pleaded guilty to possessing an iPhone in May 2020 on which were stored numerous images of children being sexually exploited.

Tucker was initially charged with transportation of child pornography in a criminal complaint filed earlier this year. According to the complaint, an investigation into Tucker began in June 2020 after a tip was received by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography being uploaded through the Kik instant messaging application from May 9, 2020, to May 20, 2020.

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FBI investigators determined that the user uploading the images did so from IP addresses associated with a grocery store in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, where Tucker worked in 2020 and a church Tucker attended in Bogata.

Tucker “downloaded, possessed, and distributed more than 600 images of child pornography, including depictions of prepubescent minors and depictions of sadistic or masochistic abuse or violence,” according to court records.

Tucker will return to court for sentencing in a few months. He is currently in custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Hornok is representing the government. Tucker is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Kenneth Hawk.

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