Mechanic Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography Charge
LAREDO, Texas – Gamaliel Cortez-Mendoza, 43, of Laredo, has entered a guilty plea to possession of child pornography and failing to register as a sex offender, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Cortez-Mendoza was arrested in January following an investigation by the Laredo Child Exploitation Task Force led by Homeland Security Investigations and the Webb County Sheriff's Office Cyber Crime Unit with assistance from the Laredo Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and U.S. Marshals Service.
The Webb County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crime Unit learned that an individual living at Cortez-Mendoza’s address had been downloading child pornography. Investigators then executed search warrants on Cortez-Mendoza’s home and computers. Forensic analysis later revealed numerous videos and pictures depicting child pornography. Cortez-Mendoza admitted downloading and viewing the videos.
Cortez-Mendoza had previously been convicted in 2004 of possessing child pornography in Harris County and was also required to register as a sex offender.
He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison for the child pornography possession as well as another 10 years for failing to register.
The case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alfredo De La Rosa, was brought as part of 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."