Mesquite Teacher Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

James Earle Cude was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for child exploitation

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas

A Mesquite teacher was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison for child exploitation, Erin Nealy Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, says.

According the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas, 55-year-old James Earle Cude pleaded guilty in August to receipt of child pornography. Cude served as a band director in North Texas for more than a decade.

Cude was arrested at a coffee shop in February after exchanging explicit messages with an individual he believed was a 13-year-old boy. Cude's messages were actually sent to an undercover agent, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas says.

According to plea papers, Cude admitted the he used the instant messaging app Kik to download images and videos of the sexual exploitation of minors, including a video of a young boy being raped by an adult man.

At his sentencing hearing, agents testified that Cude had used various apps to initiate chats with numerous underage teens, requesting inappropriate photos and proposing sexual meetups, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas says.

The Collin County Sheriff's Office, Dallas Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Samuel A. Lindsay handed down the sentence.

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