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January 17, 2023San Antonio, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to 17 years for cyberstalking, extortion, and distribution of child pornography, following an HSI, federal partner investigation

SAN ANTONIO — A San Antonio man was sentenced in federal court Jan. 10 to 17 years in prison for cyberstalking, extortion and distribution of child pornography. The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in coordination with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

Jaycob Andrew Bustamante, 21, was sentenced Jan. 10 to 204 months in prison to be followed by 30 years of supervised release.

“The defendant in this case extorted and harassed a victim to the point she genuinely felt her life was threatened,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “Cyberstalking and online extortion of children and adults is one of the fastest growing crimes. We and our partners are committed to holding accountable anyone who uses the internet and social media to terrorize, extort and stalk their victims.”

“The significant sentence imposed on Jaycob Andrew Bustamante sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit children. Bustamante will serve the next 17 years in federal prison for his incomprehensible acts,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee of HSI San Antonio. “We remain committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society: our children.”

According to court documents, Bustamante had distributed sexually explicit images of a minor. Between January 2021 and September 2021, he created multiple social media accounts posing as the victim, through which he posted the sexually explicit images and sent them to her friends and family. Over the course of Bustamante’s constant harassment, he repeatedly threatened and stalked the victim through social media, placing her and her family in fear of violence, while demanding more sexually explicit images.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bettina Richardson, Western District of Texas, prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users may call TTY 802-872-6196.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), ICAC partners, and other federal, state, and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC’s toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

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.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government partnerships to identify and rescue child victims, identify, and apprehend offenders, prevent transnational child sexual abuse, and help make the internet a safer place for children.

HSI is 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 more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 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.