by Jen Kastner
MIDLAND- A Midland-based petroleum engineer pleaded guilty Thursday morning in federal court to charges related to child pornography. Mark Weldon Miller now faces 10 years to just under 20 years behind bars.
In August of 2012, Miller was indicted on charges ranging from attempting to get child pornography in the mail, to actually possessing child pornography.
His LinkedIn profile shows he studied at Texas Tech and most recently worked as a petroleum engineer and consultant in the Tall City.
According to the criminal complaint, the investigation into Miller's child erotica interests began after an inspector with the United States Postal Inspection Service was tipped over that Miller was receiving mail from an out-of-state business that operated as a nudist website and offered online and mail-order images of pre-pubescent and pubescent minors.
In an undercover operation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service sent him an advertisement for 19 "pedo" movies to see if he'd want them. The descriptions of the scenarios involved included; pre-teen boys, pre-teen girls, young teen boys (13-16), young teen girls (13-16), rape, fisting and objects and incest and family love.
After the advertisement was sent, they received an email from "Mr. Mark Miller" at email@example.com. He was reportedly interested in ordering the advertised videos. The postal inspectors sent a blank CD to his home at the Chandelle Apartments in Midland. Being unaware that the CD was blank, Miller asked them how he would be able to view it. This further confirmed for authorities Millers' deep interest in the pornographic material.
Following that, authorities were granted a search warrant for his apartment and seized various electronics in order to gain additional information.
Disturbing and graphic images were discovered on his cell phone, including sexually explicit images of kids as young as three years-old.