40-Year Sentence Imposed for Man Who Sexually Exploited Child
HOUSTON – A 39-year-old resident of Kingwood has received a massive sentence following his convictions for the attempted sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Enrique Velez pleaded guilty Jan. 18, 2019.
At a hearing in federal court yesterday, U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed Velez a sentence of 360 months for the attempted sexual exploitation of a child, otherwise known as production of child pornography. He also received 120 months for the possession charge. The sentences will all run consecutively for a total of 40 years in prison.
Velez will also serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Velez will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. At the hearing, the court took into consideration Velez was a repeat and dangerous sex offender because he had taken child pornography images of two minor victims.
Velez came to the attention of law enforcement Oct. 13, 2016, when authorities participated in an undercover operation in an internet chat group.
On that date, Velez began communicating with someone he believed to be the mother of an eight-year-old girl. He said he was living with a girlfriend with two minor relatives – two boys, aged five and one. Velez stated he had not “done anything” yet because of his fear of his girlfriend finding out.
He asked the person if she wanted to “do a play date,” stating he could not bring the five-year-old because he was afraid the child would say something. He sent a picture of himself and a baby. He also offered to take the baby to allow the person to sexually abuse him while Velez could sexually abuse the minor female.
As the conversation continued, Velez requested images of the eight-year-old child and wanted to trade pictures. Velez then sent two nude photos of the five-year-old male, after which they made plans to meet at a motel to engage in the sexual abuse of the young female and the one-year-old.
Later that evening, Velez arrived at the location of the motel with the one-year-old child in his vehicle. Agents found a diaper bag with condoms and lubricants.
After his arrest, Velez admitted he had left the other young male at his apartment so he could meet up with the woman and her child, further acknowledging he had taken the photo of the five-year-old minor victim.
Agents searched his cellphone after obtaining a federal search warrant and found images of child pornography. Several images included the baby naked with his genitals displayed in a lewd and lascivious manner.
Velez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, Houston Police Department, Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo is prosecuting the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."