Federal judge rules defendant accused of sharing child porn will remain in jail

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A federal judge in Texarkana ruled Monday that a man accused of possessing child pornography will remain in jail while his case is pending.

Troy “T.J.” Dewayne Daniels, 31, was arrested for child pornography possession Nov. 25. His home on Trinity Street in Texarkana, Texas, was searched the same day. The investigation began with messages exchanged in October between Daniels and an undercover law enforcement officer in California.

Daniels allegedly shared images of child pornography with the undercover officer and expressed a desire to molest his wife’s young daughter during the chats.

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Daniels appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven on Monday for a detention hearing. Texarkana attorney Jeff Harrelson, who represents Troy Daniels, called Megan Daniels, Troy Daniels’ wife, to testify.

Megan Daniels testified that her 6-year-old daughter does not live with her and Troy Daniels and that her mother has custody of the girl. Megan Daniels said her daughter has lived with her mother her whole life and that she continued to live with the grandmother after Megan and Troy Daniels moved in together and after their wedding two years ago.

Daniels testified that she hoped her daughter would live with her and Troy Daniels but that her mother was granted custody in July after the girl disclosed that Troy Daniels “kissed her like in the movies or Grey’s Anatomy.”
Megan Daniels testified that Troy Daniels is the “love of her life” and that she was unaware of his online activities or the child pornography allegedly found in his possession.

Megan Daniels testified that her home is within walking distance of a city park and two public schools.

A Texarkana FBI agent testified that Troy Daniels told the undercover officer he was chatting with on the apps Whisper and Wickr that he has “played” with minors online in the past. According to testimony in court Monday, Daniels talked about kissing his wife’s daughter and of his desire for more contact.

The agent said Daniels asked the undercover officer for the Snapchat user ID of a teen girl the undercover officer mentioned during their conversations who does not actually exist.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Hornok argued that Troy Daniels presents a danger to children and should remain in custody. Craven agreed and denied release.

Hornok said the case could be presented this month to a grand jury in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

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