News and Press Releases

Mission Man Handed Nearly 18 Years in Child Porn Case

Nov. 19, 2012

McALLEN, Texas – Reynaldo Vega, 45, of Mission, Texas, has been sentenced to 210 months in prison for receiving child pornography via the Internet, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Vega pleaded guilty April 2, 2012.

This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane took into consideration the type and number of images and videos Vega had obtained via the Internet as well as the content of those images when handing down the sentence. After hearing testimony from the case agent about how Vega “shared” the images and videos via a peer to peer (P2P) network, the court also considered the fact that Vega had allowed the images to be distributed to others through the P2P network. Besides arguing that Vega did not distribute any images, Vega also requested a mitigated sentence based on his arguments that he only “viewed” the child pornography and did not suffer from pedophilia. He further claimed the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are unfair to individuals such as himself who only “view” child pornography. The court disagreed with the defense arguments and further ordered he serve a life term of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence. He was further ordered to pay restitution to one known victim of child pornography in the amount of $1,330,015.75.

The investigation began when Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) identified a computer at Vega’s residence as participating in the distribution of child pornography through a peer-to-peer network on the computer via the Internet. On Aug. 26, 2011, HSI executed a search warrant at his residence, at which time his computer and related media storage devices were found to contain images and videos of child pornography.

Subsequently, HSI’s forensic examination of the seized devices resulted in the discovery of more than 100 images and more than 150 videos of clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The videos included images of children under the age of 12 years old and some of the images are of known victims who have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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

This case, being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Juan F. Alanis, 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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