An Eagle Lake man pleaded guilty in Wharton County’s 329th District Court last week to possession of child pornography and the intent to promote child porn.
Cameron Lee Wood, 34, received a four-year prison sentence, but received credit for 629 days already served.
“Plea negotiations are necessary for the continued function and efficiency of the criminal justice system. The range of punishment for this offense included probation and the possibility of up to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” Wharton County District Attorney Dawn Allison told the Leader-News Tuesday. “(He) admitted to his guilt and by accepting a plea offer, he accepted responsibility for his conduct.”
She added, “Once he is released from prison, he will be required to register as a sex offender for his entire lifetime.”
Authorities raided Wood’s home Aug. 7, 2019, and he’s been held in the Wharton County Jail ever since then, never posting the $150,000 in bonds needed for release.
A cybercrimes unit helped track down evidence to charge Wood after he uploaded known illegal images to the Internet via a social media account.
“During the execution of a search warrant, investigators found Wood to be in possession of images and videos of child pornography. When interviewed, Wood admitted to uploading, collecting and sharing files of child pornography,” according to a press release issued by the Attorney General’s Office that week.
Wood’s arrest led to the capture of Robert Lee Gonzales of El Campo, a man with whom authorities with the Texas Attorney General’s Child Exploitation Unit believe Woods was conversing, according to search warrant information obtained by the El Campo Leader-News.
Gonzales, an El Campo Middle School cafeteria worker the school year before his arrest, faces three counts of sexual assault of a child. His case remains pending.
Wood was only charged with, and ultimately convicted of, possessing and spreading images.
Both men had been under investigation for several months by the Child Exploitation Unit after a tip from the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, according to search warrants.
Gonzales has been held in the county jail since Aug. 24, 2019 in lieu of $150,000 bond as well.