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Press Release

Mexican citizen sentenced to 15 years in prison for producing child pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

MISSOULA — A Mexican citizen who lived part-time in Stevensville, Montana, was sentenced today to 15 years in prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for taking videos of himself having sex with a minor girl in Mexico and viewing the material while in Montana, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Efren Zanabriga Zuniga, 36, of Oaxaca, Mexico, pleaded guilty in February to production of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided. The court also ordered $3,000 restitution.

In court documents, the government alleged that in September 2023, Homeland Security Investigations received several CyberTips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding files depicting a minor female and adult male engaged in sexually explicit conduct that were uploaded to a Google Drive account. An investigation determined the Google Drive account belonged to Zuniga and that he was the adult male depicted in the videos and images while the victim was a minor girl. Zuniga, who worked part of the year in the United States on a work visa, would return to Mexico where he would create the images and videos using a cell phone. When he returned to Montana, he viewed the material on his Google Drive account, where he had placed the files.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. HSI and Missoula Police Department conducted the investigation.

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 U.S. Attorneys' Offices and 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



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated July 9, 2024

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 24-169