Mexican citizen imprisoned for child pornography received on peer-to-peer sharing platform
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
McALLEN, Texas – A 38-year-old Mexican citizen residing in Weslaco has been sent to federal prison for receiving material that contained child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Jose Arturo Barrera-Torres pleaded guilty June 30.
U.S. District Chief Judge Randy Crane has now sentenced Barrera-Torres to 97 months. The court also heard additional information today including victim impact statements detailing the life-long turmoil and fear victim’s feel as a result of their abuse being continuously circulated online. Furthermore, the court heard that Barrera-Torres received, watched and deleted child pornography from the peer to peer platform from 2021 to the most recent downloads in February 2023. Not a U.S Citizen, he is exoected to face reomoval proceedings following his imprisonment.
Barrera-Torres was further ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to the victims. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Barrera-Torres will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Between Sept. 12-Oct. 14, 2021, authorities conducted an investigation on a peer-to-peer sharing platform for offenders sharing child pornography. Law enforcement identified a computer downloading videos of child pornography connecting the IP address to a location in Weslaco.
On Feb. 16, authorities contacted Barrera-Torres at that residence, at which time he admitted to using a peer-to-peer file sharing program on his computer to download and watch videos containing child pornography. He also acknowledged deleting the files.
Barrera-Torres received and downloaded approximately 80 to 100 videos of child pornography from 2021 to 2022, with the most recent downloads in February 2023.
Law enforcement discovered 31 video files and 83 image files of child exploitation materials on his laptop. The ages of the victims ranged from over 3 years of age to under 12 years of age.
Barrera-Torres will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations – Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigations Task force conducted the investigation with assistance from the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney 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 September 15, 2023
Project Safe Childhood