Skip to main content
Press Release

McAllen Instagrammer convicted of soliciting sexual images from young children

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 23-year-old man has pleaded guilty to attempting to coerce and entice a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

From January to February 2020, Israel Ruiz used Instagram to solicit explicit images from children as young as nine.

The investigation revealed he used several tactics to obtain the pornographic materials including contacting the minor victims via the social media platform. He also intimidated the minors by threatening to post other nude images of them or their friends online if additional images were not given to him.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa will impose sentencing July 19. At that time, Ruiz faces up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

He has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.

The FBI conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cahal P. McColgan and Alexa D. Parcell prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources link on that page.

Updated March 29, 2024

Project Safe Childhood