A 41-year-old man from Allen has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown and FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said Friday.
Richard Denver Belden pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography on June 20, 2019. He was sentenced to 420 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant on Thursday.
According to information presented in court, a detective with the Plano Police Department was conducting an undercover investigation into Internet programs know for trading child pornography in May 2018 when he discovered that Belden was making a large quantity of child pornography available for download.
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Over the course of two days, the detective downloaded more than 4,000 images and videos of child pornography from Belden.
The Collin County Sheriff's Office obtained a search warrant for Belden's apartment. The Sheriff's Office and Plano Police Department executed the search warrant on May 15, 2018.
When they entered the residence, officers found Belden actively downloading and distributing child pornography on a laptop computer. Belden also owned a tower containing 15 hard drives, totaling 57 TB of storage.
The Plano Police Department and FBI child exploitation task force forensically analyzed Belden's digital media and found thousands of images and videos of child pornography. Some of the content depicted toddlers, while others depicted sadistic or masochistic abuse.
Belden was indicted by a federal grand jury in June 2018.
Belden's sentencing guidelines included a prison term of 210 to 262 months, but the government asked that the Judge impose a sentence of 420 months. Based on Belden's history and the nature of his offense, Judge Mazzant granted the government's motion and sentenced Belden to 35 years in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release.
"These type of cases show the real depravity of parts of our society," U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said. "We are fortunate that law enforcement is out there looking for these people."
"Today's result is the product of the outstanding collaboration between the FBI and its local partners," FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said. "The FBI, through the North Texas Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, will continue to work tirelessly to keep our kids safe. This lengthy sentence will hopefully serve as a warning for all those who would seek to prey on the most vulnerable among us."