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El Paso Man Sentenced to federal prison on Sexual exploitation charges

January 25, 2013

United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Mark Morgan announced that in El Paso this morning, 47-year-old Joe Tapia, III, of El Paso, was sentenced to the statutory maximum of 30 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release after pleading guilty in October to solicitation of material relating to the sexual exploitation of children.

By pleading guilty, the former Excel Learning Center (ELC) admissions service representative and local church youth minister admitted that he had sexually explicit instant messenger chats with multiple minors on both his work and home computers.  Furthermore, Tapia admitted that he recorded video and still images of two children while they were changing clothes prior to a church performance and used those recordings to solicit other sexually explicit images of children. 

Tapia has remained in custody since his arrest by special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in May 2012.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation together with the El Paso Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney J. Brandy Gardes prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

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