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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 25, 2019

San Francisco Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Production And Possession Of Child Pornography

SAN FRANCISCO –Joey Wong Hernandez was sentenced to 180 months in prison for production and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Maxine M. Chesney, Senior U.S. District Judge.

Hernandez, 29, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty to the charges on November 14, 2018.  According to his plea agreement, Hernandez possessed hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.  Hernandez also produced a video of himself engaged in sex with a minor.  

Specifically, Hernandez admitted that prior to February 20, 2016, he met a minor female on an online dating website who he knew was between 12 and 16 years old.  On two occasions between February 20, 2016, and June 25, 2016, Hernandez convinced the minor female to engage in sexual activity with him and Hernandez recorded the sexual activity on his cellular telephone.  Hernandez also admitted that he used a laptop computer, two hard drives, and a cellular telephone to store more than 600 videos and images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.  Hernandez acknowledged that some of the images depict minors under the age of 12—including infants and toddlers—and some are recordings of himself engaged in sexually explicit activity with minors.  Further, Hernandez admitted that on three occasions between October of 2015 and April of 2016 he used the internet to distribute images and videos of child pornography.    

On March 8, 2018, a federal grand jury indicted Hernandez charging him with three counts of production of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a); three counts of distribution of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2252(a)(2) and (b)(1); and one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B).  Hernandez pleaded guilty to one count of production and one count of possession.  The remaining counts were dismissed.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesney sentenced Hernandez to a 10-year term of supervised release.  Hernandez currently is in federal custody and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Assistant United States Attorney Sailaja M. Paidipaty is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI. 

If members of the public have any information relevant to suspected child predators or suspicious activity, they should contact Homeland Security Investigations through the toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or complete the online tip form at: https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.  Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.  Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may also be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 25, 2019