FRESNO, Calif. — Allen Trent Carter, 54, of McCammon, Idaho, pleaded guilty today before to one count of receipt and distribution of child pornography, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Carter was identified during the course of an investigation of his son, Bradley Vaine, 27, of Fresno, who is being prosecuted for trafficking in child pornography. According to court documents, Vaine and Carter exchanged many images of child pornography and engaged in many chat sessions on Facebook in which they discussed the sexual abuse of children. A federal search warrant was executed at Carter’s residence in Idaho, and he admitted he had exchanged images of child pornography with Vaine in August and October 2012.
As part of his plea agreement, Carter admitted that his offense involved more than 600 images of minors being sexually abused, that some of the images depicted violence or sadistic or masochistic conduct, that he used a computer to commit the offense, and that he had engaged in a pattern of sexual abuse or exploitation of one or more minors.
“The fight against child pornography is not just about explicit images on a computer screen, it involves the real-life sexual abuse and exploitation of helpless children,” said Mike Prado, resident agent in charge of HSI Fresno. “This case, which resulted in the rescue of a 7-year-old autistic child from Fresno, is a credit to tireless federal and local law enforcement cooperation in California and Idaho — all of us banding together to stop this horrific and destructive activity.”
Carter will be sentenced on January 13, 2014, by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill. The plea agreement contemplates a sentence of 20 years in prison to be followed by a lifetime term of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court at the sentencing hearing.
Carter has been in federal custody since his arrest in Idaho on January 8, 2013, and he has been ordered detained as a flight risk and danger to the community. The charges against Vaine are pending. He is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was the result of an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) offices in Fresno and Idaho Falls, Idaho with assistance from the Idaho State Police and the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa is prosecuting the Carter and Vaine cases.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.