Bradenton Man Sentenced To 27 Years In Prison For Production Of Child Pornography
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich today sentenced Heriberto Pena-Salazar (25, Bradenton) to 27 years in federal prison for production of child pornography. As part of his sentence, he was also ordered to serve a 15-year term of supervised release, following his incarceration, and to register as a sex offender.
Salazar was found guilty on October 2, 2013.
According to court documents, in May 2012 Pena-Salazar persuaded a pre-pubescent female to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the act. In a video recovered on Pena-Salazar’s cellular phone, his face is visible, as he is seen pulling back the victim’s pants and underwear and performing sexual acts on her. During an interview, he admitted that he abused the child and stated that he did so in order to trade the video for child pornography from others.
A forensic review of the computer laptops and hard drive seized from Pena-Salazar revealed 600 videos and 400 images of child pornography, including files depicting pre-pubescent children and sadomasochistic conduct. Pena-Salazar, a Mexican national, was illegally present in the United States.
“The exploitation of children is one of the most heinous crimes we investigate,” said Susan McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa. “This case was especially egregious, and as a result, this man will serve nearly 30 years in prison. Let this case serve as a warning to individuals who prey on innocent children – we will find you, arrest you and ensure you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bradenton Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jennifer L. Peresie and Amanda C. Kaiser.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.