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Child Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to 15 years in prison for receiving, producing child pornography

MCALLEN, Texas – A south Texas man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in federal prison for receiving and producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.

Benito Delgado Jr., 34, from San Juan, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Hinojosa Feb. 21 to 168 months for receiving, and 180 months for producing child pornography. The sentences are to be served concurrently and will be followed by a five year term of supervised release during which Delgado will be prohibited from accessing the Internet unless permission is provided by his probation officer at that time. Delgado was also sentenced to court-assessed restitution in the amount of $1,750 for a known victim of child pornography, and he must register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

In July 2006, Delgado was identified as a person trafficking in child pornography through an HSI investigation. On Oct. 26, 2006, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Delgado's residence and seized his computer and various media devices. A forensic examination of the computer found Delgado had 549 videos depicting young children in sexually explicit conduct in his possession, many of which included children under the age of 12 and known victims identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Forensic examiners also found that Delgado had taken pictures of a 6-year-old girl revealing her genitalia.

Delgado later admitted he had downloaded the child pornography found on his computer from the Internet, and that he took the sexually explicit photographs of the 6-year-old girl.

Judge Hinojosa determined Delgado's sentence for the receipt of child pornography conviction based on the number of movies he collected, as well as the nature of the pornographic movies, showing children subjected to sadistic, masochistic and violent conduct. The court took into consideration the age of the victim and the nature and circumstances that occurred in regard to the production of the child pornography.

Delgado has been in federal custody since his arrest March 9, 2007 and will be transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to serve the remainder of his sentence.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex C. Lewis and Juan F. Alanis, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

This investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children, and the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children using the Internet.

As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline 1-866-DHS-2ICE and 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.