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April 30, 2009

SPRING MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR RECEIPT OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(HOUSTON) - Christopher Joe Vasquez, 33, a Spring resident, was sentenced today to 97 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release for receiving child pornography via the internet, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Vasquez must also register as a sex offender.

Vasquez, who pleaded guilty to the receipt of child pornography charge in December 2008, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison. The charges against Vasquez were the result of an investigation conducted by the Houston office of the United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) with assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Child Predator/Cybercrime squad which focuses its attention on investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children. Vasquez admitted to receiving two DVDs containing images of child pornography in November 2007 which he had ordered over the Internet from an undercover law enforcement website.

Today, Judge Ellison found that Vasquez received a total two DVDs containing child pornography depicting prepubescent children and on his computer possessed another 330 images and two more videos of child pornography. Some of the children depicted in the images have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Vasquez, who has been in federal custody since his arrest in June 2008, will remain in custody to serve his sentence. Upon his release from prison, Vasquez must register as a sex offender and serve a lifetime of supervised release – that is under the supervision of the court. Additionally, Judge Ellison has ordered Vasquez pay $1398 in restitution to the USPIS for destroying government property during the course of the investigation.   

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, 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.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe.

 

 

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