Former Air Force Sergeant Sentenced To Eighty Months In Prison For Federal Child Pornography Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Late yesterday afternoon a federal judge sentenced Christopher Garcia, 34, of Clovis, N.M., to 80 months in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his child pornography conviction. Garcia will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence. Garcia’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in El Paso, Texas, and Curry County Sheriff Matt Murray.
Garcia was indicted in July 2012, and charged with three counts of receipt of child pornography, and three counts of possession of child pornography. According to the indictment, Garcia received and possessed child pornography between Dec. 12, 2011 and Jan. 17, 2012, in Curry County, N.M. During that period, Garcia was a sergeant with the U.S. Air Force assigned to the 16th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base.
On Nov. 16, 2012, Garcia pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with receipt of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. During his plea hearing, Garcia acknowledged that he was charged as the result of an undercover investigation that began in Jan. 2012, and targeted individuals who possess, receive and distribute child pornography. As a result of the investigation, a search warrant to seize computers and computer related media was executed at Garcia’s residence on Jan. 17, 2012. While the search warrant was executed, Garcia voluntarily participated in a recorded interview during which he admitted that he had been downloading and viewing child pornography for approximately two years. Garcia also acknowledged that a forensic examination of his computers and computerrelated media disclosed thousands of images and videos consistent with child pornography.
This case was investigated by HSI, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees. It was 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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also was brought as a part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.