In addition to the prison term, Andrew Martinez, 23, will be subject to a lifetime of supervised release following his incarceration. In addition, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger ruled that Martinez's access to minors, computers and the Internet will be restricted. The court also ordered Martinez to forfeit items used to commit the offense and ordered him to pay restitution to one of the minors whose image he possessed. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David L. Gappa and Stanley A. Boone.
According to court documents, investigators determined that a computer at Martinez's residence was making images of child pornography available on a file-sharing network. Investigators executed a search warrant and found a computer that contained dozens of files of still images and videos of child pornography.
In a separate investigation, Martinez had been charged in the Kern County Superior Court with sexual abuse of three minors and had been released on bail on those charges, which remain pending. In the federal case, he was ordered detained as a flight risk and danger to the community and has been in custody since his arrest in October 2010.
"Unfortunately, many consumers of child pornography don't stop at viewing sexually explicit images and videos. This defendant is accused in a separate case of acting out his fantasies and victimizing actual children," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge for ICE HSI in Bakersfield. "Given the considerable public safety risks, targeting child sexual predators will continue to be a top priority for ICE Homeland Security Investigations here and nationwide."
This charges against this defendant are a result of ICE's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.
As part of Operation Predator, ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE (1-866-347-2423). This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Through Project Safe Childhood, the Department of Justice is seeking to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov or call the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California and ask to speak with the PSC coordinator.