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June 9, 2023San Antonio, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

Texas man sentenced to 19 years for distribution of child sexual abuse material after HSI San Antonio investigation

SAN ANTONIO — A judge sentenced a San Antonio man June 7 to more than 19 years for distribution of child sexual abuse material following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the assistance of the San Antonio Police Department, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) San Antonio.

The judge ordered Thomas Beck, 46, to serve 235 months in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release. He must also pay $30,000 in restitution to victims and register as a sex offender.

“The significant sentence imposed on Thomas Beck sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those individuals who exploit children. Beck will serve close to 20 years in federal prison for his incomprehensible acts,” said HSI San Antonio acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “We remain committed in working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society: our children.”

“This defendant engaged in reprehensible acts and his lengthy sentencing serves as a powerful demonstration of our dedication to protecting the vulnerable,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “With the valuable assistance of our law enforcement partners at federal, state, local and tribal levels, my office will continue to strongly prosecute anyone who exploits innocent children.”

According to court documents, Beck used peer-to-peer file sharing software to distribute 14 files containing child sexual abuse material. The files contained sexually explicit videos of infants, toddlers and prepubescent children. A forensic analysis of Beck’s computer revealed 295 such images. Beck was arrested April 28, 2022, and has remained in custody since. He pleaded guilty to count one of the two-count indictment Oct. 24.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bettina Richardson of the 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. 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, ICAC 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.

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. The directorate is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and nongovernment 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, 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.