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Child Exploitation

West Texas teen pleads guilty to possessing child pornography

LUBBOCK, Texas — A 19-year-old local man pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to one count of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Tony Alvarez, of Lubbock, Texas, has been on bond since his arrest last month. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report, with a sentencing date to be set after the report is completed.

According to documents filed in the case, Alvarez admitted using his computer to search for and download images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He also saved several of these images on his laptop computer and on a memory stick.

This investigation is being conducted by the Lubbock Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.

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.