Denton County Man Guilty of Child Exploitation Violations
SHERMAN, Texas — A 42-year-old Lewisville, Texas man has been found guilty of child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston.
Jose Victor Hernandez-Cuellar was found guilty by a jury of production of child pornography. The verdict was reached on June 14, 2017, following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant.
According to information presented in court, on Nov. 6, 2015, federal agents executed a search warrant at Hernandez’s residence based on a national investigation into individuals trading child pornography online. During the search, Hernandez advised agents that he had accessed the website for several years and obtained child pornography from it, but that his efforts were part of research for a story he was writing. During a forensic review of the seized devices, agents discovered images of child pornography that Hernandez had photographed. Agents spoke with Hernandez again and he admitted that he took the images of a minor child with a camera that he owned. Hernandez identified the child to law enforcement and stated he photographed the child at his residence in Lewisville.
Under federal statutes, Hernandez faces a minimum of 15 years and up to 30 years in federal prison. This is the maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Miller and Lesley Brooks.