News and Press Releases

Corpus Man Handed Seven Years for Child Pornography Charge

March 15, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Joe Frank Rios, 45, of Corpus Christi, Texas, has been sentenced to a total of 84 months for his conviction on possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Rios pleaded guilty Jan. 12, 2012, admitting he possessed multiple videos and images of child pornography which consisted of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In handing down the sentence today, Senior U.S. District Judge Hayden Head further ordered Rios serve a term of life on supervised release. Rios was also ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

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. Today, the court also assessed restitution in the amount of $3000 for one of those such known victims.

Rios has been in custody since his arrest where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Duke, 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 and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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