West Texas investigation results in 60-year sentence in child exploitation case
PECOS, Texas – A Colorado man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas to 60 years in prison following a child pornography conviction.
Special agents assigned to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Presidio, Texas, investigated the case with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Alvaro Castillo, 64, a retired telecommunications network engineer of Englewood, Colorado, was convicted by a federal jury Nov. 18, 2020, of three counts of production of child pornography; one count of attempted production of child pornography; one count of transportation of child pornography; and one count of possession of child pornography.
According to trial evidence, in May 2018, Castillo traveled to his native country of Guatemala, and videorecorded himself sexually abusing a 13-year-old victim who was sleeping. Evidence from that video identified Castillo as the abuser. In addition to this videorecording, Castillo also possessed and transported additional images of child sexual abuse. CBP officers at the Presidio Port of Entry discovered the child pornography evidence during an October 2019, search of a recreational vehicle that he was driving as he attempted to cross into Mexico from the United States.
The El Paso area of responsibility that Breitzke oversees includes West Texas, El Paso and the state of New Mexico.
In addition to the prison sentence, Castillo was ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and pay $33,586.89 in restitution.
Trial Attorney Austin M. Berry of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Cannizzaro of the Western District of Texas are prosecuting the case.
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 United States and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
HSI is a directorate and 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 over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 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. HSI is the principal investigative arm of DHS and a vital U.S. asset in combatting transnational crime and threats. 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. HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline, and is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and non-government 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.