Former Roanoke Man Sentenced on Child Porn Charge
Paul Aragon To Serve 77 Months
ROANOKE, VIRGINIA -- A one-time local resident who pleaded guilty in September to a charge related to his possession of child pornography, was sentenced yesterday afternoon in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.
Paul Aragon, 52, formerly of Roanoke, Va.,previously pleaded guilty to one count of receiving or distributing child pornography. Monday afternoon, Aragon was sentenced to 77 months of federal incarceration and a lifetime of supervised release thereafter.
“Mr. Aragon abused numerous innocent children when he obtained and transferred these disgusting images,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “The sentenced imposed today sends a strong message that pursuit of child pornography has real victims and brings harsh consequences. Those of us who work in this United States Attorney’s Office will continue to do what we can to protect our children from exploitation and abuse.”
"The exploitation of children through child pornography is one of the most base and vile crimes we see," said Attorney General Cuccinelli. "My office remains committed to protecting Virginia's most vulnerable citizens from predators-- like Mr. Aragon. It's our hope that today's sentencing exhibits a multi-agency commitment to fighting this sort of predation in Virginia."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. Special Agent in Charge John P. Torres said, "HSI is committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims in our communities. HSI remains vigilant in investigating the exploitation of children and will continue to work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring child predators to justice."
According to evidence presented at the defendant’s guilty plea hearing by Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day, Aragon admitted to purchasing a membership to a website that distributed child pornography and to downloading images of children engaged in sexual acts.
Following an investigation into child pornography membership websites and IP addresses by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), agents went to Aragon’s Roanoke, Va. residence on May 19, 2011. At that time, according to a statement of facts filed with the court, the defendant admitted to downloading child pornography.
During the May 19 visit, agents seized a computer, 443 DVDs and several child-sized dolls. A subsequent forensic examination revealed 2,500 images of child pornography on the seized items.
The investigation of the case was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Charlene Day and Special Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Johnstone of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office are prosecuting the case for the United States.