SAN ANTONIO – Special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested a central Texas man Thursday for allegedly sexually exploiting children.
Kenneth Lee Briggs, 43, from Kyle, Texas, was arrested after a criminal complaint was filed in federal court on Aug. 16. On Thursday, he made his initial appearance in U.S. Magistrate Court in Austin, Texas.
According to the criminal complaint, in November 2016, HSI Austin special agents received information from the Kyle (Texas) Police Department (KPD) that Briggs was potentially involved in possessing, distributing, and producing child pornography. That same month, KPD executed a state search warrant at a residence in Kyle, Texas, belonging to Briggs. During the execution of the warrant, KPD officers seized numerous electronic storage devices believed to contain child pornography. KPD then transferred to HSI all the seized material. HSI’s forensic examination revealed videos depicting what appeared to be the inside of a girl’s locker room. HSI special agents also determined that the footage was taken at a local swimming pool facility located in the Cedar Park, Texas, area, where Briggs had worked previously. Briggs is suspected of installing covert cameras at the swim facility to obtain the images.
Briggs, who remains in federal custody, is scheduled for a detention hearing Aug. 22 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Lane in Austin.
If convicted, Briggs faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew B. Devlin, Western District of Texas, is prosecuting this case.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE.gov)