May 26, 2011
22-YEAR-OLD HOUSTON MAN CONVICTED OF PRODUCING AND DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
(HOUSTON) - A 22 year old Houston man has been convicted after pleaded guilty to producing and distributing child pornography, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.
Arturo Enrique Ochoa, 22, indicted in February 2011 of producing child pornography depicting young teenage boys engaged in sexually explicit activity at least since 2009 and distributing these and other images of child pornography via the Internet, pleaded guilty to both charges before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake today. Ochoa faces a mandatory minimum statutory sentence of 15 years imprisonment up to a maximum of 30 years for producing child pornography. The distribution of child pornography conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years up to 20 years imprisonment. Additionally, each charge is punishable by a $250,000 fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Ochoa faces a maximum life term on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect the children and prohibit the use of the Internet and will be required to register as a sex offender.
The charges against Ochoa are the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Innocent Images Unit of the Houston FBI, which focuses its attention on investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children via the internet.
On June 10, 2010, an undercover FBI agent (UC) browsed a shared folder of someone with the user name “palotinto” and observed numerous thumbnail images depicting child pornography. “Palotinto” was sharing more than 600 files. The UC downloaded 384 images files of child pornography from the computer of “palotinto” which was later traced to an account in the name of Arturo Enrique Ochoa of Houston.
Houston’s FBI Innocent Images task force initiated its own investigation first reviewing the images obtained by the UC to confirm the images depicted child pornography and culminating with the execution of a federal search warrant at Ochoa’s Houston area residence on Jan. 12, 2011.
During the search, the FBI Innocent Images Task Force seized numerous hard drives, DVDs and a CD-R, a cell phone, a gaming device, a digital camera and a thumb drive. Forensic analysis has revealed at least 3000 videos containing child pornography on the DVDs and CD-R as well as the HP laptop computer. Ochoa admitted to agents he had been viewing child pornography for years and possessing approximately 10 gigabytes of child pornography.
The forensic analysis also revealed videos of Ochoa engaging in sex acts with minors. Ochoa admitted to performing oral sex on a 12-year-old male child and there is at least one video depicting this child among the images seized. Through further investigation, agents learned that children regularly visited Ochoa’s apartment and identified as least three other young males who had been molested by Ochoa. With the exception of a video involving one of these young boys, no other images of these children have been identified. Ochoa gave the children money or offered to buy them video games to obtain their cooperation.
Ochoa has been in federal custody without bond since his arrest and will remain in custody until his sentencing set by Judge Lake for Sept. 29, 2011.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices, 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.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
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