SANTA ANA, California – A Salvadoran national – who was previously deported after being convicted of sexually abusing a minor – was sentenced today to 240 months in federal prison for distributing child pornography on Facebook’s Messenger after he illegally reentered the United States.
Jose Ramon Aguilar-Moreno, 52, of Fontana, was sentenced by United States District Judge David O. Carter.
Aguilar-Moreno pleaded guilty in July 2020 to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.
In August 2002, Aguilar-Moreno was convicted in San Bernardino County Superior Court of committing lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. Following his deportation in June 2003, he unlawfully returned to the United States in 2016. Since that time, he failed to register as a sex offender in California or anywhere else in the United States, which was required because of his 2002 conviction.
In June 2018, Aguilar-Moreno used the name “Abel Aguilar” on the Messenger application to distribute three videos that depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Law enforcement in June 2019 executed a search warrant at Aguilar-Moreno’s residence – which was across the street from an elementary school – and discovered over 900 still image and more than 1,200 videos of child pornography on his cell phones. Aguilar-Moreno’s child pornography “collection spans the gamut and is documentation of some of the most demeaning abuse inflicted on victims of child pornography,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court.
In the sentencing memo, prosecutors noted that Aguilar-Moreno also used WhatsApp to welcome individuals to “the world of child pornography” as he solicited the exchange of images and videos. Aguilar-Moreno chatted with individuals in at least 14 countries, meaning “His reach and impact truly was global,” prosecutors wrote.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Carter ordered Aguilar-Moreno to pay $60,000 in restitution to the victims depicted in the child pornography in this case.
Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Marshals Service investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorney Eli A. Alcaraz of the Riverside Branch Office prosecuted this case.