Sulphur Springs Restaurant Owner Guilty of Child Exploitation Violations
PLANO, Texas — A 53-year-old Sulphur Springs, Texas man has been found guilty of child exploitation charges in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Fernando Sosa-Pintor was found guilty by a jury of two counts of distributing and one count of possessing child pornography. The verdict was reached on Sep. 8, 2016 following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.
According to the indictment, detectives from the Garland Police Department and the Longview Police Department conducted undercover investigations into peer-to-peer file sharing networks in August 2014. Detectives testified at trial that they downloaded videos of child pornography from an IP address that was traced back to Tradicion Mexicana, a restaurant owned by Sosa-Pintor in Sulphur Springs. Members of the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Tradicion Mexicana on Sep. 23, 2014, at which time they recovered a desktop computer that contained other child pornography videos. Officers testified at trial that Sosa-Pintor spoke with them and admitted to using the peer-to-peer file sharing program to obtain child pornography. During the trial, prosecutors introduced evidence from the undercover operations, Sosa-Pintor’s interview with law enforcement, and the contents of his desktop computer.
Under federal statutes, Sosa-Pintor faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each charge. 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 the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa Miller and Lesley Brooks.