In Del Rio this morning, 34-year-old Rodrigo Rodriguez was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for the sexual exploitation of a child, announced U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.
On February 27, 2019, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the charge. By pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted that from April 2017 through December 2018, he used his cell phone to produce child pornography that depicted the abuse and exploitation of a female child approximately 12 years old.
“Producing child pornography is a monstrous crime that cannot be tolerated. We must ensure that those who prey upon our vulnerable children are kept off of the streets. Thanks to the work of the Del Rio Police Department and the FBI, this defendant will be incapacitated for the better part of the next two decades,” stated U.S. Attorney Sofer.
Court records reflect that officers with the Del Rio Police Department (DRPD) arrested Rodriguez on January 7, 2018 after they discovered an image depicting child pornography on the defendant’s cell phone. DRPD officers forwarded the information to the FBI for further investigation into the transmission and storage of potential child pornography. Special agents from the FBI’s San Antonio Division obtained search warrants for the defendant’s cell phone and email account. Forensic evaluations of the seized phone and email account revealed the presence of approximately five images and three videos of child pornography produced using that phone and stored on the defendant’s email account from April 2017 through December 2018.
Rodriguez has remained in federal custody since his arrest on January 7, 2018.
The FBI, along with assistance from DRPD, conducted this investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Spears, John Kennedy and John Cooper prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet; as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.