News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Delano Property Owner Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 15, 2013
 

Docket #: 1:11-cr-00134 LJO

 

 

FRESNO, Calif. —Jose Hernandez-Velazquez, 55, of Van Nuys and who owned rental property in Delano, was sentenced today to 60 years in prison by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. On December 12, 2012, a federal jury found Hernandez-Velazquez guilty on four separate counts of producing child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Wagner stated: “The prison sentence handed down today denies Hernandez-Velazquez the chance to prey on any more children. Those who commit similar crimes should expect to be found, prosecuted, and removed from society.”

“As this sentencing makes unmistakably clear, child sex predators will receive the justice they are due for their despicable actions,” said Michael Toms, resident agent in charge of HSI Bakersfield. “We will continue to aggressively target those who prey upon and sexually exploit our children. We owe it to the young victims in these cases, who will carry the emotional and physical scars of these crimes for the rest of their lives.”

According to court documents, Hernandez-Velazquez produced videos and images between January 2010 and February 2011 that included depictions of him engaged in sexual acts with four separate minor victims aged three to fourteen. According to court records, an investigation began with a tip from a private citizen. Within 24 hours, investigators had seized Hernandez-Velazquez’s camera and data storage devices, determined the location of the crimes, identified victims, and obtained incriminating statements from him. The crimes occurred in Delano where Hernandez-Velazquez owned rental property.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Judge O’Neill advised Hernandez-Velazquez that it was his intention that he “never again be allowed to be anywhere near a child. You have ruined enough lives.” Hernandez-Velazquez has been in custody since his arrest on March 9, 2011.

This case was a product of an intensive investigation by the Bakersfield and Los Angeles Offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Delano Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos prosecuted the case.

This case 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 the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.

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