LUBBOCK, Texas - A man from San Angelo, Texas, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 30 years in prison to be followed by a life term of supervised release. The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, Northern District of Texas; the case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement (ICE).
Jason Segura, 23, has been in federal custody since his November 2008 arrest on related charges outlined in a federal criminal complaint. He was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts of producing child pornography. Segura pleaded guilty in March 2009 to one count of producing child pornography. He will be required to register as a sex offender after he's released from prison.
In documents filed in court, Segura admitted that on Nov. 16, 2008 he used the camera in his cell phone to take three images of a prepubescent girl engaged in sexually explicit conduct with him.
"The victims of child pornography are the most vulnerable members of our society," said John Chakwin Jr., special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Dallas. "It's a high mission priority for ICE to help protect and bring justice to these victims by identifying, investigating and pursuing prosecution for anyone who creates, possesses or distributes child pornography." Chakwin oversees 128 counties in north Texas and the State of Oklahoma.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This investigation was also 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the San Angelo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the Lubbock, Texas, Northern District of Texas Office, prosecuted this case.