FRESNO, Calif. – A California man was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to 10 years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, on child pornography charges. The sentence is the result of an extensive investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
John Anthony Baca, 44, of Bakersfield, Calif., pleaded guilty Nov. 14, 2011, to receiving and distributing more than 600 sexually explicit videos and still images of prepubescent minors.
"All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of being sexually exploited," said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge of HSI Bakersfield. "While this sentence cannot repair the permanent damage done to the children depicted in these images, it should serve as a warning to those who engage in this behavior: HSI and our partners will be relentless in our pursuit of online predators."
HSI's ongoing efforts to target suspects involved in child exploitation offenses are 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-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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted this case on behalf of the U.S. government.