This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Travis Barr, 32, of New Braunfels, was sentenced Dec. 4 to 12 years in federal prison and further ordered to serve 20 years of supervised release after he completes his prison term; he must also register as a sex offender. Barr pleaded guilty June 10 to distributing child pornography.
"This 12-year sentence sends a clear message that there are no places in a civilized society for predators like Barr," said Janice Ayala, special agent in charge of HSI San Antonio. "Unfortunately, today's technology in the hands of a predator with access to children has put our children at greater risk than ever before. HSI will continue to work tirelessly to rescue child victims, and bring their abusers to justice."
According to court documents, the investigation began when HSI special agents identified an Internet Protocol address with images and movies of titles suggestive of child pornography. On Sept. 21, 2012, HSI special agents executed a federal search warrant at Barr’s New Braunfels residence. While executing this search, HSI special agents seized computer-related devices. Forensic analysis of these devices resulted in discovering more than 30,000 images, 1367 videos, and more than 2,000 anime images depicting child pornography.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 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 producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking 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.
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.