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Roswell Man Sentenced for Distributing Child Porn

The defendant, who previously had been convicted as a sex offender, was given a 15-year federal prison term.

A Roswell man was given a 15-year sentence in federal prison today, Sept. 7, for distributing graphic images of child pornography over the Internet.

U.S. District Court Judge Willis B. Hunt Jr. sentenced Mark Twain Heaton III, 40, of Roswell, to 15 years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system. Heaton pleaded guilty on March 29, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Heaton, a previously convicted sex offender, was caught in an undercover investigation from December 2011 to January 2012. An FBI special agent made contact with the defendant using a publicly available peer-to-peer network. uring that session, court information stated Heaton made numerous images of child pornography available. Several other undercover FBI agents around the country downloaded child pornography from Heaton during those months. And during a contact by a Liberty County, GA Sheriff's Office detective, Heaton again made available images of child pornography. In a search of Heaton’s home, law enforcement recovered Heaton’s computer, which contained additional images of child pornography, including images of very young children being sexually assaulted.

The case was investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and FBI’s Safe Child Task Force, which includes the

Rick Maxwell, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “This defendant, being an aggressive distributor of child pornography and having a past record of such behavior, quickly became a priority for the FBI’s Innocent Images Task Force investigators.  Working with our established law enforcement partners, a strong criminal case was built against Mr. Heaton, resulting in today’s lengthy sentence that will, thankfully, remove him as a threat to our community’s children.”

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