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Press Release

Previously convicted sex offender sent to prison again

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

McALLEN, Texas – A 35-year-old non-U.S. citizen illegally residing in Palmview has been ordered to federal prison for obtaining child pornography and being unlawfully present in the United States, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Jose Ricardo Zamora-Ibarra pleaded guilty Dec. 14, 2021.

Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Zamora-Ibarra to serve a total of 180 months in federal prison. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following his imprisonment. Zamora-Ibarra was further ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to known victims and must register as a sex offender.

At the time of his plea, Zamora-Ibarra admitted to downloading over 250 files of child pornography utilizing a peer-to-peer platform.

During the course of the investigation, authorities recovered Zamora-Ibarra’s laptop computer and an external hard drive. A forensic examination of the files determined the videos and images depicted prepubescent children engaged in sexually-explicit conduct. Zamora-Ibarra saved the child pornography onto his devices into created files named “preteen boy sex” and “preteen girl sex.”

Zamora-Ibarra was previously convicted of sexual assault of a child and subsequently removed from the United States. He then illegally re-entered the country without authorization.  

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

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Devin V. Walker 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 tab on that page.

Updated October 4, 2022

Project Safe Childhood