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March 16, 2009

CORPUS CHRISTI RESIDENT CHARGED WITH RECEIVING, POSSESSING AND DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) – Ernest Garza, 23, of Corpus Christi, was arrested today by FBI agents following his indictment for receiving, possessing and distributing child pornography, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. A five-count indictment was returned by a Corpus Christi grand jury on March 11, 2009, accusing Garza of four counts of receiving and distributing images of child pornography and one count of possessing images of child pornography in September 2008. The video images allegedly depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct with other children and also with adults.

Garza appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington this afternoon and has been ordered temporarily detained pending a hearing on the government’s motion to detain him without bond pending an arraignment and detention hearing set for Wednesday, March 18, 2009, at 8:00am.

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.

Indictments are formal accusations of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

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