CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An illegal alien from Mexico residing in South Texas was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison Tuesday for possessing more than 10,000 child pornography images.
This investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Corpus Christi, Texas, and the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Baldemar Cardenas-Martinez, 52, who pleaded guilty to the charges May 20, was also ordered to register as a sex offender and comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.
Cardenas-Martinez was originally granted a temporary visa which expired in 1997. He has been illegally present in the United States since then. ICE will seek to take custody of Cardenas-Martinez for his immigration violations after he completes his prison sentence.
This investigation began when authorities went online on a peer-to-peer network which catered to offenders sharing child pornography. Law enforcement was able to download multiple images from the device which belonged to Cardenas-Martinez. Afterwards, they conducted a search warrant and seized multiple electronic devices from his residence. A forensic examination of those devices revealed 10,673 child pornography images.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brittany L. Jensen, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting 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 19,000 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 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) 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.