Convicted alien smuggler sent to prison for recording sexual material and posting it on Snapchat
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
LAREDO, Texas – A 22-year-old Laredo resident has been ordered to federal prison for production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Victor Antonio Puente pleaded guilty July 5.
U.S. District Judge Lee H Rosenthal has now sentenced Puente to 180 months in federal prison. The court found he committed the offense while under supervised release for a previous alien smuggling offense which much be served consecutively for a total 192-month-term of imprisonment. In handing down the prison terms, the court noted the “horrific” events and that Puente was “not acting as a human being.” Puente will serve 10 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Puente will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
A hearing date will be set in the near future to determine the amount that Puente will be ordered to pay in restitution to the victim.
“Victor Puente gave a 15-year old alcohol, got her drunk and sexually violated her in area motels, but the once-convicted alien smuggler didn’t stop there,” said Hamdani. “Not only did he violate her physically, he posted images and videos of his abhorrent behavior on SnapChat. As the father of a 15-year old daughter myself, I am thankful that this predator won’t come anywhere near my or any other daughter for a very long time to come.”
“This sentencing reflects the FBI's dedication to protecting children from those who choose to prey on the most innocent within our communities,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Justin Garris for the FBI San Antonio Division. “We want to thank the Laredo Police Department for their unwavering support with this investigation.”
On June 5, 2022, Puente rented a motel room in Laredo. There, he engaged in sexual activity with a 15-year-old female victim. He used his personal cell phone to record and photograph sexually explicit conduct between him and the minor and then uploaded the content via social media.
A forensic analysis of Puente’s cell phone revealed videos of him engaging in intercourse with the victim. Other videos showed him fondling her while both are naked or were of her naked body while she slept.
The minor victim’s family was able to discover Puente’s location from a third-party and contacted law enforcement.
Puente denied that the minor victim was in the room. However, they located her and took her to a local hospital for observation and treatment.
Puente will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Laredo Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSAs) Homero Ramirez and Michael P. Makens and former AUSA April Ayers-Perez prosecuted the case.
It was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources link on that page.
Updated November 16, 2023
Project Safe Childhood