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Child Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison for receiving child pornography

MCALLEN, Texas. – A South Texas man was sentenced on Monday to seven years and seven months in prison for receiving child pornography via the Internet, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Julian Gonzalez, 31, from Mission, Texas, was sentenced Dec. 19 by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane to 91 months in federal prison. During Monday's hearing, Judge Crane took into consideration that Gonzalez obtained more than 130 videos of child pornography via the Internet. The videos depicted young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. They included images of children under the age of 12 years old, some of whom are known victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Judge Crane also ordered Gonzalez to pay $926,560.09 restitution for one known victim. Upon release from prison, he will be on supervised release for life, during which time he will be required to register as a sex offender.

According to court documents, Gonzalez pleaded guilty on July 29. At that time, he acknowledged that on March 23, an Alton, Texas, police officer and a Texas Ranger contacted him regarding an investigation into allegations that he had taken inappropriate videos of a 12-year-old with his cellular phone. Gonzalez provided both his cell phone and his personal computer to the officers consenting to review the items, at which time the officers discovered videos of child pornography.

Gonzalez was indicted in May 2011. He has been in state custody since his arrest on March 23. On May 11, he was transferred to federal custody where he will remain pending transfer to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Gonzalez's arrest is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or 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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis.