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Press Release

McAllen Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Receiving Child Pornography

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 58-year-old resident of McAllen has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Maximiliano Cantu pleaded guilty Oct. 28, 2014.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane took into consideration the fact that the offense involved more than 400 movies and 3,000 images depicting child pornography for a period in excess of 10 years and handed Cantu a sentence of 204 months. The sentence will be immediately followed by a lifetime term of supervised release Cantu was further ordered to pay $52,000 in restitution to known victims.  Additional information presented today included descriptions of the types of images received as material portraying sadistic conduct and prepubescent minors and the fact that the defendant was involved in the distribution of images in return for the receipt of additional images of child pornography.

Cantu came to the attention of law enforcement following an investigation which began Aug. 7, 2014, into persons using the Internet to traffic in child pornography. A special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was able to locate and identify a computer as offering to participate in the receipt of child pornography movies through the peer-to-peer network on the Internet. Through the investigation, it was determined that the computer was located in a residence in McAllen.

On Aug. 28, 2014, authorities executed a search warrant at that residence and obtained Cantu’s computer and various external media devices. A forensic examination on Cantu’s computer and storage media revealed more than 400 movies of child pornography involving clearly young children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. These movies included children under the age of 12 engaged in sadistic conduct and acts of violence. Some of the movies are of known victims as identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Cantu admitted he downloaded child pornography from the Internet thereby receiving the child pornography found on his computer and external storage media devices.

Cantu will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by HSI.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Alex Benavides, 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."

Updated December 10, 2015

Project Safe Childhood