RENO, Nev. – A man who took pornographic photographs of a 7-year-old relative and posted them on an Internet file sharing site, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and lifetime supervised release, following a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with assistance from the Reno Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
Gregorio Evaristo Sarabia-Garcia, 31, of Sparks, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du. Sarabia-Garcia pleaded guilty June 3 to one count of production of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Higginbotham.
"The safety and well-being of our children is a top priority for the Department of Justice and our office," said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden. "Our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively search out these sexual predators and our office will continue to aggressively prosecute these child exploitation cases to protect our community and our children."
According to the court records, between March 27 and April 26, 2012, an investigator with the Reno ICAC Task Force conducted an online undercover operation targeting an Internet file sharing network seeking to identify individuals who were advertising, possessing and distributing child pornography in northern Nevada. The investigator determined that Sarabia-Garcia, who lived in an apartment in Sparks, had placed numerous images of child pornography on the file sharing network.
Investigators subsequently executed search warrants for several computers at Sarabia-Garcia’s apartment and found pornographic photographs of the defendant’s 7-year-old relative, as well as more than 150 additional images of child pornography which Sarabia-Garcia had downloaded from the Internet. The images depicted prepubescent minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, including some files that depicted sadistic and masochistic conduct. Sarabia-Garcia admitted to investigators he had taken the photographs of his relative with his cellular telephone and transferred them to his computer.
The charges stem from 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, and Project Safe Childhood, a Department of Justice effort launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.
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.