Big Spring Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Offense
LUBBOCK, Texas — Gilberto Ray Hinojos, 22, of Big Spring, Texas, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy M. Koenig and pleaded guilty to a federal child pornography offense, announced John R. Parker, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, Hinojos, who remains on bond, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted receipt of a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and aiding and abetting. He faces a statutory penalty of not less than five years and not more than 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date will be scheduled at a later time.
According to documents filed in the case, on May 14, 2015, Hinojos responded to an online classified ad posted by the Texas Department of Public Safety. An undercover officer identified himself as a 13-year-old female in communications with Hinojos, who then attempted to receive sexually explicit images of this person and made further arrangements to meet her at a restaurant on 19th Street in Lubbock. Hinojos arrived at the location and was arrested.
The matter was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative, which was launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals, who sexually exploit children, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/. For more information about internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/ and click on the tab “resources.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy is in charge of the prosecution.