News and Press Releases

Mission Man Convicted of Receiving Child Pornography Via the Internet

July 29, 2011

McALLEN, Texas – Julian Gonzalez, 31, of Mission, Texas, has been convicted of receiving child pornography via the Internet, U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. 

At a hearing before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane held this morning, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the federal felony charge, acknowledging that the United States could prove that on March 23, 2011, Alton Police and a Texas Ranger made contact with him regarding an investigation into allegations that Gonzalez had taken inappropriate videos of a 12-year-old with his cellular phone. At that time, Gonzalez provided both his cell phone and his personal computer to the officers consenting to review of the items. Upon reviewing the computer, the officers discovered videos of child pornography and contacted the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to aid in the forensic examination of that computer and a second computer subsequently found belonging to Gonzalez. 

HSI’s forensic examination of the first computer resulted in the discovery of 136 child pornographic movies of clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The videos included images of children under the age of 12 and some of the images are of known victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. In May of this year, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Gonzales with receipt and possession of child pornography obtained via the Internet based upon the HSI forensic analysis. In state custody since his arrest on March 23, 2011, by state officials, Gonzalez was transferred into federal custody on May 11, 2011, where he has remained  without bond. Today, Gonzalez admitted to downloading the above child pornography videos via web sites, knowing the images were illegal but feeling compelled to obtain more videos.    

Gonzalez faces a potential sentence of no less than five up to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $250,000 and term of supervised release of five years to life. Judge Crane has set sentencing for Oct., 11, 2011. He will remain in custody pending sentencing. 

This case, being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis, 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.

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