TERRELL, Texas — A Terrell man, and former firefighter, has been sentenced to 18 years on numerous child pornography charges.
25-year-old Silas Austin Franks, of Terrell, Texas, was arrested on December 6, 2019, on seven counts of possession with intent to promote child pornography, a second-degree felony.
On Thursday, July 30, 2020, Silas entered a plea on all seven counts and was sentenced to 18 years on each count, to be served concurrently.
Silas, according to Franks' initial arrest warrant affidavit, had utilized an IP address of the Red Springs Fire Department in Smith County to receive several thousand photos, which depicted pornographic images of young children, and sexual chat logs on Snapchat.
A tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in October led investigators to identify Franks in the case, based on subpoenas issued to social media sites, cell phone, and internet providers.
Franks was an employee of the Smith County Emergency Services District 2 serving as a firefighter at the Red Springs Fire Station. He was previously a volunteer with the Ables Springs Volunteer Fire Department in northeastern Kaufman County — having volunteered there from August 10, 2018, until his resignation on October 23, 2019. There were no pending charges against Franks in Kaufman County.
Franks was set to appear in court on August 10, 2020, for a jury trial in the case. He is now awaiting transfer from the Smith County Jail to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.