MCALLEN, Texas — A former South Texas school employee was sentenced to seven years in federal prison Dec. 17, 2019, for possessing child pornography.
This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force.
Jesus Amado Garcia, 43, of Roma, Texas, was also ordered to pay $40,000 in restitution to his known victims. Following completion of his prison term, he will serve five years on supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Garcia will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Garcia pleaded guilty to the charges Oct. 4, 2019.
According to court documents, in January, law enforcement initiated an investigation into the sharing of child pornography which led them to Garcia’s address in Roma, Texas. At the time, the Roma Independent School District employed him as a maintenance worker.
On April 23, authorities executed a search warrant at Garcia’s home, at which time they seized multiple digital devices. The investigation resulted in the discovery of approximately 236 images and 27 videos of child pornography.
Garcia will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Garcia, Southern District of Texas, 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 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
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. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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 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.