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Child Exploitation

Former south Texas police officer sentenced to 15 years in federal prison following child pornography conviction

Defendant was a former Sabinal, Texas Police Officer

DEL RIO, Texas — A local man was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in federal prison for receiving and distributing child pornography plus being in possession of an unregistered firearm. This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Sabinal, Texas, Police Department.

Jason Lee Villasana, 37, of Del Rio, Texas, was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment for receiving and distributing child pornography, and possessing an unregistered firearm. The judge also ordered Villasana to serve a 10-year term of supervised release. Villasana pleaded guilty to the charges Aug. 21, 2013.

"This investigation resulted from the joint efforts of HSI, FBI and the Sabinal Police Department. This 15-year sentence sends a clear message that those who sexually exploit children will face serious consequences," said Special Agent in Charge, Janice Ayala, HSI San Antonio. "Preventing and investigating crimes against children is a high priority for HSI. We will continue to dedicate law enforcement resources to identify and bring to justice child predators who traumatize and victimize children."

According to the criminal complaint, on Aug. 7, 2012 the case was first initiated by the Texas Attorney's General Law Division when they received a cybertip from National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicating that 29 images of child pornography had been located in association with an email account related to Villasana. On Nov. 12, 2012 a search warrant was issued to look into this email account. After reviewing his account, officers located more than 1,500 images and about 30 videos of child pornography. Villasana was arrested Nov. 15 without incident.

This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas.

This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI's Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.