This case was investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the guilty plea of Jose Alaniz-Allen, 22, and set sentencing for May 16. At that time, Alaniz-Allen faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending his sentencing.
According to court documents, Alaniz-Allen came to the attention of law enforcement following an investigation, which began Sept. 14 into persons using the Internet to traffic in child pornography. HSI located and identified Alaniz-Allen as the owner of a computer associated with distributing child pornography movies through a peer-to-peer network.
On Nov. 29, a search warrant was executed at his Mission residence, and a computer and various external computer storage media devices were seized. The forensic examination revealed 23 movies of clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The images included children younger than 12 years of age engaged in bondage and acts of violence. Some of the images are of known victims as identified through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Alaniz-Allen admitted downloading child pornography from the Internet thereby receiving and possessing the child pornography found on his computer.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Leo and Juan Villescas, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.
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.