SHERMAN, Texas – An Allen man has been sentenced to federal prison for federal child exploitation violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Clay Melton Denton, 57, was found guilty on June 11, 2021, of distribution, receipt and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant, III. Denton was also ordered to pay an assessment of $10,000 under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Victim Assistance Act of 2018.
According to the court documents and testimony at trial, in January and March 2018, undercover officers with the Plano Police Department and the Garland Police Department received child pornography, via an online platform, that had been distributed to them by a computer user. The officers traced the online conduct to the Denton residence in Allen, Texas. Members of the FBI obtained a search warrant for the residence, which they served on April 25, 2018. The searching team discovered multiple digital devices in the residence, including server racks, network area storage devices, laptops, hard drives, cellular phones, and digital storage media. Agents testified that the entire second story of the house was filled with floor-to-ceiling book cases storing digital devices, manuals, and peripherals. Additional testimony revealed that forensic analysis of the seized devices took almost one year. During this forensic analysis, personnel discovered tens of thousands of images and videos of child pornography. Specifically, evidence demonstrated that a laptop belonging to Denton and located on one of his desks contained the same software used to distribute child pornography to the undercover officers. That software was also used to obtain child pornography, which was saved on a different portion of Denton’s computer. Evidence also revealed that child pornography was located on a 60+ terabyte storage device that Denton owned and possessed. A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Denton with federal violations on Sep. 11, 2019.
This case is 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
This case was investigated by the Plano Police Department, Garland Police Department and the FBI Dallas Child Exploitation Task Force and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Miller and Maureen Smith.