San Angelo Man Sentenced to 87 Months in Federal Prison on Federal Child Pornography Conviction
LUBBOCK, Texas — Tomas Lira, Jr., 46, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 87 months in federal prison, to be followed by a 10-year period of supervised release, following his guilty plea in late December 2011 to one count of transportation of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Lira, a resident of San Angelo, has been in custody since his arrest in October 2011.
According to documents filed in the case, Lira admitted that in August 2011, he posted an Internet ad on Craigslist.com in the personal category, “Men seeking men,” under the title, “looking for a son.” A special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), acting in an undercover capacity and posing as a 15-year-old, responded to the ad and asked Lira what kind of ‘stuff he was into.” The two communicated by email and text messaging, discussing sexual matters on several occasions, with Lira advising he was into gay porn and preferred young males whom he referred to as “twinks.” On August 20, 2011, Lira texted an image of child pornography to the undercover agent.
This matter 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 sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock, Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.
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