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Child Exploitation

South Texas man sentenced to nearly 22 years for sexually exploiting children

HOUSTON – A local man was sentenced to 21 years and eight months in federal prison following his conviction for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas. The investigation was conducted by the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The sentencing hearing for Jose Rene Alaniz, 43, began May 29 and continued June 7, during which time two victims provided testimony. After serving the 260 month term ordered by U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos, Alaniz will be on supervised release for life and also have to register as a sex offender. Alaniz pleaded guilty to the charge March 1, admitting he used the name "Jonathan Rendon" as an alias to communicate with numerous children on Internet-based social networking sites.

On Aug. 16, 2011, a concerned father of a 12-year-old daughter reported discovering inappropriate messages on her phone from an individual calling himself "Jonathan Rendon," who claimed to be 18-years-old. He requested that the girl send him naked photos of herself. The victim's father allowed detectives with CCPD's Internet Crimes against Children Task Force (ICAC) access to his daughter's accounts and online identity. ICAC detectives began communicating with Alaniz via the Internet and text messaging. Alaniz repeatedly expressed his sexual interest in children and his desire to receive sexually explicit photographs from a child he knew was 12 years old.

ICAC enlisted HSI assistance to conduct a joint investigation of Alaniz's unlawful activities. When the undercover police told Alaniz that the girl did not have a camera to take the nude photos he requested, he agreed to provide one. On Oct. 5, 2011, Alaniz was filmed dropping off a camera at the pre-arranged location for the child's use. The next day, federal search warrants were executed on his home and place of employment. During the search, numerous electronic media storage devices were seized. An examination of those devices revealed that Alaniz had victimized other children.

Alaniz has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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