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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Another Significant Sentence Imposed for Sexually Exploiting a Child

HOUSTON – Another local man is headed to federal prison for producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Houston resident Miguel Alejandro Morales-Garcia pleaded guilty Feb. 7, 2018.

Today, District Judge David Hittner sentenced a to 327 months in prison to be immediately followed by a lifetime term of supervised release during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

The more than 27-year-sentence comes a day after a suburban man received 35 years also for sexually exploiting a child as well as possessing child pornography.

The investigation into Morales began when an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), acting in an undercover capacity, entered an online chat room. At that time, the agent observed a user, later identified as Morales, stream a live video of what appeared to be a minor female who was three to five years of age. The minor was watching a video or show on a tablet with a blue case while wearing white ear bud style headphones. Within seconds, the camera angle panned to the right and showed Morales masturbating. The distance between Morales and the minor victim appeared to be a few inches and the only thing separating Morales and the minor victim was a small brown pillow.

Through the investigation, agents identified the minor victim as being a relative of Morales. Agents performed a forensic examination on his iPhone pursuant to a federal search warrant and discovered images of Morales engaging in sexual contact with the minor victim.

He has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

HSI conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Ann Leo prosecuted 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 14, 2018