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Child Exploitation

Central Texas man sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for producing and receiving child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas – A central Texas man was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in federal prison for producing and receiving child pornography.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Jacob Aniceto Jose Villarreal, 29, of Brownwood, Texas, has been in custody since his arrest in June 2013 on a related federal criminal complaint. U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings also sentenced Villarreal to a lifetime of supervised release following his guilty plea in August.

On June 25, special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a federal search warrant at Villarreal’s home; they seized five computers, two telephones and three thumb drives.

According to documents filed in the case, Villarreal used his cell phone to produce a video of a boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Villarreal admitted that he collected and traded images and videos of child pornography. He collected some of this child pornography through peer-to-peer file-sharing computer software. But most of the images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were received and sent from his cell phone.

This investigation was conducted by HSI, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy prosecuted this case.

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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

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.