Anchorage Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Pornography
Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that Misael Oquendo Vazquez, 45, of Anchorage, was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to serve eight years in prison, followed by a life term of supervised release, for possession of child pornography.
Vazquez used messaging applications on his phone and cloud-based storage sites to distribute and receive child pornography. When contacted by law enforcement, he was in possession of dozens of images and videos showing the sexual exploitation of minors, including videos that showed toddler-aged children being abused. The defendant also possessed a collection of non-pornographic images of children being spanked, some of whom had been abused to the point that their buttocks were bruised and injured.
At sentencing, Judge Burgess noted the seriousness of the crime, focusing on the victims in the child pornography images traded by Vazquez, as well as the children in the corporal punishment videos. Vazquez’s crime was serious not only because of “what it has done to the children in the [child pornography] videos” possessed by the defendant, said Judge Burgess, but also because of the “defendant’s proclivity to images that show corporal punishment, including images that show bruising [of kids].” Judge Burgess also was concerned about the threat posed by the defendant to the community, given the fact that he had been involved in the downloading and viewing of child pornography for more than 10 years.
Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices nationwide and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.