Edinburg Man Convicted of Multiple Child Pornography Charges
McALLEN, Texas – A 28-year-old Edinburg man has pleaded guilty to a three-count indictment charging him with production, receipt and distribution of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Carlos Benjamin Martinez admitted to downloading and receiving child pornography and to sending emails which contained child pornography. He also admitted to performing a sexual act on a minor child while recording the incident with his cellular phone.
In March 2015, authorities were investigating an individual suspected of possessing child pornography in Massachusetts. During that time, authorities discovered that Martinez had emailed several images of child pornography to that suspect. The FBI executed a federal search warrant at the Martinez residence in September 2015 and seized various electronic devices. A search warrant was also executed on an email account belonging to Martinez. A forensic analysis on those devices and email account led to the discovery of thousands of images and multiple videos of child pornography involving clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
A subsequent search of his cell phone revealed a video of Martinez performing sexual intercourse on a minor child approximately 12 years of age.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who accepted the guilty plea today, has set sentencing for February 9, 2017. At that time, Martinez faces a minimum of 15 and up to 30 years for the production of child pornography. As to the counts of receipt and distribution of child pornography, Martinez faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The FBI conducted the investigation.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Benavides and Kimberly Ann Leo, 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."