Score:   1
Docket Number:   ND-AL  2:19-cr-00276
Case Name:   USA v. Morris
  Press Releases:
BIRMINGHAM -- A federal judge yesterday sentenced a Prattville man and a Shelby County woman on child exploitation charges, announced Northern District of Alabama United States Attorney Jay E. Town, Middle District of Alabama United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge for Alabama Nick S. Annan. 

 

United States District Judge L. Scott Coogler sentenced Kenneth Earl Hooks, 36, of Prattville, to 120 years and 2 life sentences to run consecutively and Sarah Pauline Morris, 28, of Shelby County, to 197 months for producing child pornography and enticing a young child to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of creating obscene images.  Hooks pled guilty to these charges in February 2019 and also to the additional charge of transportation of a minor for sexual purposes.  Morris pled guilty in March 2019. 

 

“This sentence very clearly reflects the seriousness of these child predator’s disgusting crimes,” Town said.  “Our justice system will not tolerate these criminals who prey on innocent children.  They will now occupy bed space that has been reserved for them in a federal prison.”

 

“The sentencing of Hooks and Morris brings justice to two serial offenders who preyed on societies most vulnerable,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Nick S. Annan.  Their self-described “Bonnie and Clyde” crime spree included depraved acts of abuse and violence and would have undoubtedly continued without fantastic case work of the agents involved in this investigation. “It is important to understand that the production of child pornography is simply the filming of child rape.”

 

The charges originated from numerous criminal events that occurred in the Northern District of Alabama and in the Middle District of Alabama.  Cases in both districts were consolidated for sentencing in the Northern District. 

 

Police in California found Hooks and Morris living in a desert area on the southern tip of the state after locating a red Mitsubishi Montero with an Alabama license plate there, according to a May 4, 2018, federal criminal complaint and arrest affidavit issued for Hooks in the Northern District of Alabama. According to the affidavit, the red Mitsubishi was registered to Morris and police were searching for it because security cameras at a Walmart in Brawley, California, caught her driving it on March 30, 2018, when security officers at the store reported Morris attempting to film two young girls in a bathroom stall.

 

According to court documents, as a result of further investigation, child pornographic images were discovered on a laptop that had been subjected to forensic examination by law enforcement officers in Imperial County, California.  On or about April 27, 2018, agents from the Department of Homeland Security in Birmingham received these images which depicted sexual exploitation of 2 prepubescent children and a teenage female under the age of 18 by Hooks in Alabama.  During the investigation, agents learned that Hooks had transported the teenage female victim from Mississippi to Alabama with the intent of sexually assaulting her and recording it on video. 

 

HSI Birmingham investigated the case, along with the assistance of HSI Calexico, CA; HSI Las Cruces, NM; HSI El Paso, TX; Brawley Police Department, CA; Imperial County California District Attorney’s Office; U.S. Marshals Service Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, El Centro Division, CA;  Chilton County Alabama Sheriff’s Office, Alabaster Police Department, AL, which Assistant United States Attorney R. Leann White, Northern District of Alabama and Assistant United States Attorneys Hollie Reed and Russell Duraski, Middle District of Alabama prosecuted. 

 

 

BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted an Alabama couple on child pornography charges, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and ICE Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Jere T. Miles.

 A two-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges KENNETH EARL HOOKS, 35, of Prattville, and SARAH PAULINE MORRIS, 28, of Shelby County, with producing child pornography and enticing a young child to engage in sexual activity for the purpose of creating obscene images between December 2016 and August 2017.

Police in California found Hooks and Morris living in a desert area on the southern tip of the state after locating a red Mitsubishi Montero with an Alabama license plate there, according to a May 4 federal criminal complaint and arrest affidavit issued for Hooks in the Northern District of Alabama. The red Mitsubishi was registered to Morris and police were searching for it because security cameras at a Walmart in Brawley, Calif., caught her driving it on March 30 when security officers at the store saw Morris attempting to film two young girls in a bathroom stall, according to the affidavit.

            “ICE-HSI and U.S. Marshals proved in this case that federal law enforcement is resolved to see child predators prosecuted, and that resolve doesn’t waiver when fugitives flee across state lines,” Town said. “Our net will always be bigger than their map.”

            Producing child pornography carries a penalty of 15 to 30 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity in order to produce child pornography carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s HSI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter is prosecuting.

An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Description: The fiscal year of the data file obtained from the AOUSC
Format: YYYY

Description: The code of the federal judicial circuit where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the federal judicial district where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: The code of the district office where the case was located
Format: A2

Description: Docket number assigned by the district to the case
Format: A7

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which cannot be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A unique number assigned to each defendant in a case which can be modified by the court
Format: A3

Description: A sequential number indicating whether a case is an original proceeding or a reopen
Format: N5

Description: Case type associated with the current defendant record
Format: A2

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, defendant number, and reopen sequence number
Format: A18

Description: A concatenation of district, office, docket number, case type, and reopen sequence number
Format: A15

Description: The status of the defendant as assigned by the AOUSC
Format: A2

Description: A code indicating the fugitive status of a defendant
Format: A1

Description: The date upon which a defendant became a fugitive
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which a fugitive defendant was taken into custody
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date when a case was first docketed in the district court
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which proceedings in a case commenced on charges pending in the district court where the defendant appeared, or the date of the defendant’s felony-waiver of indictment
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code used to identify the nature of the proceeding
Format: N2

Description: The date when a defendant first appeared before a judicial officer in the district court where a charge was pending
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: A code indicating the type of legal counsel assigned to a defendant
Format: N2

Description: The title and section of the U.S. Code applicable to the offense committed which carried the highest severity
Format: A20

Description: A code indicating the level of offense associated with FTITLE1
Format: N2

Description: The four digit AO offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: The four digit D2 offense code associated with FTITLE1
Format: A4

Description: A code indicating the severity associated with FTITLE1
Format: A3

Description: The FIPS code used to indicate the county or parish where an offense was committed
Format: A5

Description: The date of the last action taken on the record
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which judicial proceedings before the court concluded
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the final sentence is recorded on the docket
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The date upon which the case was closed
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: The total fine imposed at sentencing for all offenses of which the defendant was convicted and a fine was imposed
Format: N8

Description: A count of defendants filed including inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed excluding inter-district transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings commenced
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants filed whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated including interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated excluding interdistrict transfers
Format: N1

Description: A count of original proceedings terminated
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants terminated whose proceedings commenced by reopen, remand, appeal, or retrial
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period including long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: A count of defendants pending as of the last day of the period excluding long term fugitives
Format: N1

Description: The source from which the data were loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: A10

Description: A sequential number indicating the iteration of the defendant record
Format: N2

Description: The date the record was loaded into the AOUSC’s NewSTATS database
Format: YYYYMMDD

Description: Statistical year ID label on data file obtained from the AOUSC which represents termination year
Format: YYYY

Data imported from FJC Integrated Database
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