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Press Release

Local Man Heads to Prison Following his Conviction on Child Pornography Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 22-year-old Harlingen man has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Skylar Tarr McElwrath pleaded guilty Feb. 21, 2018.

Today, U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera Jr. ordered him to serve 72 months in federal prison. McElwrath was further ordered to pay $3,600 in restitution to a known victim and will serve 12 years 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.

On or about July 20, 2017, authorities initiated an investigation of child pornography sharing which led them to the McElwrath’ s address in Harlingen. They later executed a search warrant at that location and seized a computer and other digital devices belonging to him.

A forensic analysis later revealed approximately 80 images and 15 videos of child pornography.

McElwrath was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations - Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force conducted the investigation 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 For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Corley and Ana C. Cano are prosecuting the case.

Updated May 22, 2019

Project Safe Childhood