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Press Release

McAllen man guilty of selling child pornography

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 34-year-old south Texan has admitted he spoke to people who were interested in buying images of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Astro Rey De Leon admitted to possessing child pornography with the intent to sell it on the internet.

Authorities had learned a computer was receiving child pornography. They were able to trace it to De Leon at his residence. He admitted he was actively involved in speaking with individuals who were interested in buying child pornography via applications on his cell phone.

Authorities conducted a search of his phone and discovered he had tried to sell child pornography as recently as a month prior to their arrival at his residence.  

U.S. District Judge Crane accepted the plea and set sentencing for March 1, 2022. At that time, De Leon faces a minimum of five and up to 20 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

De Leon has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.

Homeland Security Investigations - Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eliza Carmen Rodriguez is prosecuting 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 December 17, 2021

Project Safe Childhood