Laredoan Gets Max for Possessing More Than 36K Child Pornography Images
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
LAREDO, Texas – A 42-year-old Laredo man has been ordered to serve the maximum sentence in federal prison following his conviction of possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson along with Mark Dawson, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in San Antonio and Webb County Sherriff Martin Cuellar. Oscar Herrera III, 42, pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2015.
Today, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo took into consideration that Herrera possessed more than 36,000 images of child pornography on several media devices and handed him the statutory maximum sentence of 10 years. Additional information was also presented today, including a statement by one of the victims in the case which was read in court. Herrera was further ordered to pay restitution to three known victims and 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.
At the time of the plea, the court heard that an investigator with the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, while using peer-to-peer software, was able to successfully download various files containing child pornography from an IP address associated with Herrera. As a result of this information, HSI special agents were contacted to assist in the investigation.
In November 2014, agents executed a search warrant at Herrera’s residence, at which time they seized various electronic devices. A preliminary forensic analysis on those devices led to an initial discovery of 3,270 images of child pornography and 444 videos containing child pornography. Further investigation of additional media devices led to the total discovery of nearly four terabytes of images and video. Herrera admitted he downloaded and viewed videos of child pornography and that he knew that it was wrong.
The arrest of Herrera was a result of Operation Child Guardian, which was launched by the Webb County Sheriff’s Office in 2009. The success of these investigations have put dozens of suspected child predators behind bars.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. dos Santos, 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."
Updated December 8, 2015
Project Safe Childhood