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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE
Aug. 6, 2013

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER

(713) 567-9388

Laredoan Sent to Prison for Possessing Child Pornography
Ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution

LAREDO, Texas – Luis Alberto Alcala, 25, of Laredo, has been ordered to federal prison for nearly eight years following his conviction of possessing with intent to view visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. He pleaded guilty Aug. 15, 2012.

Today, the government presented additional evidence including statements from one of the identified victims and members of her family. U.S. District Judge George P. Kazen took into consideration the amount of the images, the ages of the victims depicted therein and the types of child pornographic images and videos that were found on the Alcala’s computer. He then sentenced him to 90 months in federal prison. In handing down the sentence, Judge Kazen stated Alcala needed mental health treatment while in prison and when he was released in order to address his propensity to possibly re-offend. Judge Kazen also ordered Alcala to register as a sex offender. Alcala was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $950,000 to a known victim fund and another $150,000 to an identified victim. He will also be required to serve a term of 30 years of supervised release following completion of his prison sentence, during which Alcala is ordered not to work with, live near or have any direct contact with any minor without prior approval by the U.S. Probation Office. In addition, Alcala is ordered to not subscribe to and online service provider or use computer software for such purpose. 

At the time of his guilty plea, Alcala admitted to downloading from child pornography sites and viewing pictures and videos of girls under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Several of the images were identified as known victims and indexed in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The case arose from an Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Laredo Police Department (LPD) investigation that began in June 2008 after a complaint of the theft of a debit/credit card. The card was used to purchase a computer at Wal-Mart along with other items that were not authorized by the owner of the debit/credit card. Further investigation by LPD led to Alcala who admitted to detectives that he had used the card to purchase the laptop computer that was found at his apartment. A search of the computer by LPD showed that the computer hard drive contained numerous visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts, at which time LPD referred this part of the investigation to HSI.

HSI agents conducted a forensic exam of the computer’s hard drive, which revealed 194 photographic images and 20 movies of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Alcala admitted to LPD investigators that he had downloaded the images himself because he was curious.

Alcala will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

HSI and LPD investigated with assistance of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roberto F. Ramirez, 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."