A former Austin police detective pleaded guilty to seven counts of child pornography in federal court Thursday, admitting that he possessed on his personal computer hundreds of pornographic images of children.
Lance McConnell, 34, faces five to 120 years in federal prison and up to $1.75 million in fines when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks. The sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton called Thursday a “sad day for Austin because we now know that one who was sworn to protect and serve the innocent instead committed a terrible crime.”
McConnell was on the Austin police force for seven years before he was fired in May after a federal grand jury handed up the indictment against him. He was assigned to investigate illegal alcohol sales.
Investigators with the Texas attorney general’s office began to investigate McConnell after they received a tip from America Online officials that a subscriber had attempted last year to send e-mails with child pornography images attached, court documents show.
McConnell pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography, three counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of transporting child pornography.