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DALLAS  (CBSDFW.COM) – Michael Brendan O’Connor, 36, of Dallas, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea to one count of transporting and shipping child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

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O’Connor has been in custody since his arrest in May 2014, according to a news release.

According to documents filed in the case, the investigation began in May 2014 when an officer with the Nebraska State Patrol, working online in an undercover capacity and posing as a 31-year-old female whose interests included incest and molesting her young children, was contacted by an individual, later identified as O’Connor, who expressed similar interests. O’Connor, in very sexually explicit communications, indicated, among other things, that he was “attracted to girls 3 to 10 and 8 is the magic age for me physically.” In a later communication, O’Connor detailed an incident where he molested a young child while he was on break at a restaurant where he worked. On May 13, 2014, O’Connor sent the undercover officer a zip file containing several images of child pornography.

On May 29, 2014, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a federal search warrant at O’Connor’s residence. More than 950 images of child pornography, some depicting infants and toddlers, were located on O’Connor’s homebuilt computer. He admitted downloading, possessing and transporting images of child pornography.

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O’Connor was convicted of sexual assault of a child in Collin County in 2010 and possession of child pornography in Dallas County in 2009.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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