Edinburg Man Gets More Than 24 Years for Three Child Pornography Charges
McALLEN, Texas – A 29-year-old Edinburg man has been ordered to federal prison following his convictions of production, receipt and distribution of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Carlos Benjamin Martinez pleaded guilty Dec. 2, 2016.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed Martinez a total sentence of 292 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the court heard testimony from that Martinez had made several inquiries with adoption agencies expressing an interest in adopting children. He had also responded to a Craigslist posting, offering his services as a babysitter. In handing down the sentence, Judge Crane expressed his concerns regarding these inquiries. Martinez will 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. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment.
As part of his plea, 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 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 children who were clearly young 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.
He 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.
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."