Del Rio Teen Mentor and School Tutor Sentenced to 18 Years on Child Pornography Charges
DEL RIO, Texas – A Del Rio man was sentenced Monday to 220 months in prison for receipt and distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents, Oscar Barrera Jr., 29, mentored at-risk teens, worked as a tutor in the Del Rio school system and served as a youth counselor at church retreats. On June 17, 2021, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents conducted a search warrant on Barrera’s residence and confiscated his cell phone, which had more than 1,100 images and nearly 700 videos of child sexual abuse material.
“It’s unsettling when you learn that someone working so closely with our children and in our communities can possess such predatory tendencies,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza of the Western District of Texas. “Thanks to our federal agency partners like Homeland Security Investigations, we are able to ensure these sexual abusers can no longer prey on our children.”
“The heavy sentence imposed on Mr. Barrera sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit children in any way,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee of the HSI San Antonio Division. “HSI agents make it a top priority to protect children from victimization by working to investigate predators involved with the production, distribution and possession of child sexual abuse material and ensure they are held accountable for their heinous actions. HSI will continue to dedicate our resources to identify these individuals and bring them to justice.”
On April 4, 2022, Barrera pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography.
HSI investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rex Beasley and Tyler Fleming prosecuted the case.
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 www.justice.gov/psc.