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Child Exploitation

Northern California man snared by tip from Danish police sentenced to 30 years for producing child pornography

FRESNO, Calif. — A Modesto man, who was identified as a result of a tip from Danish authorities, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography.

Timothy Valdez, 37, appeared in federal court before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill. Valdez pleaded guilty to the charge in April.

According to court documents, in December 2011, federal agents and Canadian officials received a referral from the Danish National Police about child pornography on the Internet that appeared to originate from North America. In a video, a male adult was seen molesting a young boy. Through extensive investigative work, the identity of that person was established March 9, 2012. Valdez was arrested the following day.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Modesto Police Department and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.

"As a result of the sentence imposed today in this case, no one will have to worry about other children becoming victims of sexual exploitation by this defendant," said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner. "Because of quick work by the Danish National Police and special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations, he will be spending decades behind bars."

"Today's sentence should serve as a sobering warning about the consequences facing child sexual predators who mistakenly believe they can elude detection by hiding in cyberspace," said Tatum King, acting special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. "From a lead originally uncovered in Denmark, we were able to identify and locate this perpetrator halfway around the world. HSI will continue to aggressively target those who prey upon and sexually exploit our children. We owe it to the young victims in these cases, who will carry the emotional and physical scars of these crimes with them for the rest of their lives."

This case was brought as part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, and Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.

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.

Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the "resources" tab.