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Smith County Man Sentenced for Child Pornography Violations
TYLER, Texas – A 23-year-old Whitehouse, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Oscar Vela pleaded guilty on June 11, 2013, to online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison on Jan. 9, 2013 by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis.
According to information presented in court, Vela communicated with law enforcement agents who were acting in an undercover capacity. The law enforcement agents represented that they were a minor female who was available for sexual activity for a price. Vela agreed to pay for sex with the minor female and was apprehended by law enforcement. As a result of this conviction, Vela will be placed on the required to register as a sex offender following his imprisonment.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by 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 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This case was investigated by the Longview Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mandy Griffith.