News and Press Releases

Houston Man Handed Federal Sentence for Possession of Child Pornography

May 2, 2012

HOUSTON – Armando Ruben Avila, 48, has been sentenced to 65 months imprisonment for possession of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Avila pleaded guilty to the charges Oct. 25, 2011.

Today, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal handed Avila the 65-month sentence which is to be followed by a term of supervised release for life. Avila will also have to registers as a sex offender and was ordered to pay $3,000 restitution to one of the Internet victims found in his collection.

The investigation began when agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) received information regarding a commercial child pornography website. Agents determined the company to be a pay-for-access commercial website offering child pornography in a variety of media formats, including still images and VHS and DVD videos. Paid membership to this website was secured by sending a Western Union moneygram to individuals in Russia. One of the moneygrams payments was tracked to Avila.

On Oct. 14, 2009, agents executed a federal search warrant at Avila’s residence in Houston, at which time an HP Pavilion desktop and a Toshiba laptop were seized. Also at that time, Avila admitted to searching for and downloading child pornography on the Internet. 

A forensic exam was done and images of child pornography were found on both computers. At least 4,000 images of child pornography and 50 videos of child pornography were found.  Some of the images depicted prepubescent girls engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with adult males.
Previously released on bond, Avila was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Stabe and investigated by ICE-HSI, 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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