Grand Prairie Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offense
Defendant Admits Exchanging Sexually Explicit Photos with a Minor Female
DALLAS — Aaron Garcia, 21, of Grand Prairie, Texas, appeared in federal court this morning and pleaded guilty, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney, to an Information charging one count of receipt of child pornography. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Stickney remanded Garcia into custody. Sentencing is set for January 13, 2014, before U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.
According to documents filed in the case, the investigation began as a result of a cyber-tip to law enforcement indicating that in September 2012, a minor girl, “Jane Doe,” began using an app on her cell phone to have sexual conversations with an adult male. The conversations included solicitations from both the adult male and Jane Doe to meet for sex. Jane Doe identified herself as a 14-year-old, although she was actually 13. The male also solicited nude photos of Jane Doe, which she sent. He sent her two sexually explicit images of himself.
An analysis of Garcia’s iPhone by the North Texas Regional Computer Forensics Lab revealed that it contained more than 40 images of child pornography, not including the images sent by Jane Doe.
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 the Grand Prairie Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Camille Sparks is in charge of the prosecution.
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