Brownwood, Texas, Man Admits Producing and Receiving Child Pornography
LUBBOCK, Texas — Jacob Aniceto Jose Villarreal, 29, of Brownwood, Texas, appeared today before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings and pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography. Villarreal has been in custody since his arrest in June 2013 on a related federal criminal complaint. He faces a total maximum statutory penalty of not less than 15 years or more than 50 years in federal prison, a $500,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
On June 25, 2013, agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) executed a federal search warrant at Villarreal’s home and five computers, two telephones and three thumb drives were found.
According to documents filed in the case, Villarreal used his cell phone to create a video of a minor male engaged in sexually explicit conduct. In addition, Villarreal admitted that he collected and traded images and videos of child pornography. Some of the child pornography was collected using peer-to-peer file-sharing software, but most of the images and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct were received and sent by way of his cell phone.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The investigation was conducted by ICE HSI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.
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