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December 17, 2021Brownsville, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

South Texas man convicted of selling child pornography images, following ICE HSI investigation

MCALLEN, Texas — A South Texas man was convicted Dec. 17 for selling child pornography images following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force probe.

Astro Rey De Leon, 34, of McAllen, was convicted in federal court. During that hearing, he admitted to possessing child pornography with the intent to sell it on the internet

According to court documents, ICE HSI had learned a computer was receiving child pornography. They were able to trace it to De Leon at his residence. He admitted he was actively involved in speaking with individuals who were interested in buying child pornography via applications on his cell phone. ICE HSI conducted a search of his phone and discovered he had tried to sell child pornography as recently as a month prior to their arrival at his residence.

De Leon is scheduled to be sentenced March 1, 2022. At that time, De Leon faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

De Leon remains in custody pending his sentencing hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez, Southern District of Texas, is prosecuting the case.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Updated: 12/22/2021