United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Modesto Man Snared by a Tip from Danish Police Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Pornography
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Monday, April 29, 2013
Docket #: 1: 12-cr-82-LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — Timothy Valdez, 37, of Modesto, pleaded guilty today to production of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in December 2011, federal agents and Canadian officials received a referral from Danish law enforcement about child pornography on the Internet that appeared to originate from North America. The child pornography was in the form of a video in which a male adult was seen molesting a young boy. Through extensive investigative work, the identity of that person was established on Friday, March 9, 2012. Valdez was arrested the following day.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with assistance from the Modesto Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Enos is prosecuting the case.
“This case is a testament to the extraordinary investigative and forensic skills of HSI special agents who traced this defendant to northern California based upon video images originally viewed by law enforcement halfway around the world,” said Ray Greenlee, assistant special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. “Today’s guilty plea should also be a sobering reminder to pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by hiding in cyberspace. HSI will do everything in its power and use every tool at its disposal to keep our children safe - whether they are around the block or around the world.”
Valdez is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on July 22, 2013. Within the plea agreement, Valdez agreed to a term of 30 years in prison, which is the maximum term under the statute to which he pleaded guilty. This term is subject to the court’s endorsement at the sentencing hearing.
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.