Laredoan Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge
LAREDO, Texas – A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Cristian Jose Castro admitted today he viewed and downloaded child pornography from the internet on two of his laptop computers.
On Oct. 11, 2018, law enforcement initiated an investigation into suspected possession and distribution of child pornography from a Laredo residence. They later executed a federal search warrant at the address and encountered Castro.
He admitted he obtained the child pornography from certain messaging applications and file-sharing programs via the internet using the wi-fi network at his residence. Castro said he had previously viewed adult pornography but he had become bored with it. He said he first watched child pornography when he was only nine. When law enforcement talked to him in December 2018, he added that he had searched, downloaded and viewed child pornography as recently as the month before. He admitted the children appearing in that ranged in age from seven to 12 years of age and that he had also downloaded pornography which included infants and toddlers.
A forensic analysis of one of Castro’s seized laptops included more than 2000 images of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose sentencing at a later date. At that time, Castro faces a minimum of up to 20 years in federal prison.
Castro was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Bukiewicz and Francisco Rodriguez are prosecuting 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."