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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 27, 2015

Registered Sex Offender Guilty of Producing Child Pornography in Jefferson County

                BEAUMONT, Texas – A 45-year-old Galveston, Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Jose Stephen Gracia pleaded guilty to production of child pornography today before U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.

According to information presented in court, on Apr. 2, 2015, federal agents executed a search warrant at Gracia’s residence in Galveston based on information that child pornography was being distributed from that location.  During the search, investigators located a digital memory card in a locked safe that contained videos of Gracia and his victims.  In these videos, Gracia, a registered sex offender, was engaged in sexual activity with the children.  Further investigation revealed the videos were originally produced in Jefferson County, Texas.  Gracia was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 7, 2015.

Gracia faces a mandatory term of life in federal prison.  A sentencing date has not been set.

This case was brought 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 is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Galveston Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Bartow.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated July 27, 2015