News and Press Releases

Corpus Man Convicted on Child Pornography Charge

Jan. 12, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Joe Frank Rios, 45, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

At a hearing today before Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head, Rios admitted he possessed multiple videos and images of child pornography on Nov. 23, 2010, which consisted of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

On Oct. 18, 2010, Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) conducted an undercover investigation into the online activities of people trading child pornography. Rios was identified as a person offering child pornography for download on a peer-to-peer file sharing network and agents were able to download a file suspected to contain child pornography. A search warrant was obtained and executed on his Corpus Christi home on Nov. 23, 2010, at which time a computer was seized and turned over to the Corpus Christi Police Department’s (CCPD) Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). A forensic examination revealed the presence of child pornography. 

According to court documents, during the execution of the search warrant, Rios admitted to downloading child pornography from the Internet and that he was addicted to doing so. Several of the images and videos were found to include victims previously identified as real children by the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children.

Rios has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending his sentencing hearing set for March 15, 2012, at 1:30 p.m., at which time he faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lance Duke, 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


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