BROWNSVILLE, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced in federal court Wednesday to 78 months in prison following his conviction on several counts related to child pornography.
This sentence resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force.
Pedro Angel Garcia, 26, from Brownsville, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Rolando Olvera to 78 months for distribution of child pornography. Garcia was also sentenced to 78 months for receipt and possession of child pornography. The sentences will run concurrently.
Garcia previously pleaded guilty to the charges May 22, 2019. In addition to his prison sentence, Garcia must also serve 35 years of supervised release following completion of his prison term, comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet, and must also register as a sex offender.
According to court documents, in October 2017 HSI learned of a Facebook user who appeared to be sending child exploitative material via the social media platform. The investigation led them to an IP address and telephone number, and eventually to Garcia’s residence in Brownsville. HSI executed a search warrant and seized his personal computer. Forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of approximately 29 images and one video of child pornography in Garcia’s possession.
Garcia has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ana C. Cano, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
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-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. 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.