Channelview Resident Pleads Guilty to Possession of Child Pornography
|Nov. 16, 2011|
HOUSTON – Eliseo Gonzalez Jr., 30, has pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Gonzalez entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison just a short time ago in Houston federal court.
The investigation into Gonzalez began when U.S. Postal Inspection Service inspectors were looking into a private, members-only child pornography Internet bulletin board in which members were identified by their level of membership and involvement in the board (administrator, moderator, trusted member, etc). Members posted preview images and links to offsite file sharing websites where members could download the described files and open them using a password. The files were categorized by file type, age and content and approximately 90 percent of the board activity centered on nude postings of children under the age of 18.
In March 2008 and September 2008, federal agents seized the server associated with the bulletin board and were able to identify the members, including someone named “panchovilla.” This screen name was traced to Gonzalez in Channelview, Texas.
On July 15, 2009, agents executed a federal search warrant at the Channelview residence, at which time Gonzalez told agents he did use the screen name “panchovilla” to access a bulletin board but that he did not think it was perverted. A forensic exam was conducted and images of child pornography were found on a desktop computer which contained three hard drives. Approximately 300,000 of images of child pornography and child erotica were discovered.
Gonzalez faces a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250,000 as possible punishment at his sentencing hearing, set for Feb. 1, 2012. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Gonzalez also faces a maximum of life on supervised release during which the court can impose a number of special conditions designed to protect children and prohibit the use of the Internet. Previously released on bond, Gonzalez was allowed to continue on bond pending an order to voluntarily surrender to a Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe and investigated by the USPIS, 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.