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Child Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to 10 years for distributing child pornography

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced on Wednesday to more than 10 years in federal prison without parole for distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Johnny Alaniz, 37, pleaded guilty to the charges in April and was sentenced Sept. 7 to 121 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head. Alaniz is also required to register as a sex offender and serve a 20-year term of supervised release.

On Oct. 25, 2010, an investigation was conducted by a detective with the Corpus Christi Police Department's Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (CCPD-ICAC). Acting in an undercover capacity, the detective downloaded multiple files of child pornography from Alaniz. Through further investigation, a federal search warrant was secured and executed by CCPD-ICAC officers and ICE HSI agents at Alaniz's Corpus Christi home in January.

During the search, ICE HSI and CCPD officers seized Alaniz's computer and other electronic media. A forensic analysis of the seized devices led to discovering six images and 28 videos of suspected child pornography. Alaniz admitted to actively searching the Internet for child pornography which he then made available for public download via peer-to-peer file-sharing computer software. One of the videos contained images of a victim identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Alaniz, who has been in federal custody since his indictment and arrest in January, will remain in custody to serve his sentence.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.