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February 23, 2024Brownsville, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to 30 years for producing child sexual abuse material following HSI Rio Grande Valley investigation

BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possession of child sexual abuse material and sexual exploitation of a child following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Ulysses Rubalcava, 34, of Weslaco, pleaded guilty Oct. 31, 2023, and was sentenced Feb. 20. At the hearing, the court noted his remorse, but explained how society deems these crimes as particularly heinous and that the court must protect children and the public to deter this type of crime. Rubalcava was further ordered to serve 24 years on supervised release following the completion of his sentence. During that time, he must comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He must also register as a sex offender. A restitution hearing has been scheduled for April 23.

“The lengthy sentence in this case will ensure that Rubalcava will not be able to harm a child for several decades. It sends a clear message that those who prey on the vulnerable will be held accountable,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “HSI will continue to prioritize child exploitation investigations to protect our children and remove these offenders from our communities so they can no longer victimize others.”

According to court documents, the investigation began in June 2021, when authorities learned of concerning behavior and photos believed to be the sexual assault of a child. HSI conducted a search of Rubalcava’s cellphone, which contained numerous files of child sexual abuse material, including sexual assaults of two girls. Following an investigation, authorities determined Rubalcava had been grooming and abusing the two girls for more than a year. He eventually began producing child sexual abuse material of himself with the young girls.

Rubalcava remains in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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. 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, recover and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Internet Crimes Against Children partners, and other federal, state and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. You can report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 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.

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’ largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.