El Paso Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Receipt of Child Pornography
In El Paso, 44–year-old Albert Hibbert was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for receipt of child pornography announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Waldemar Rodriguez, El Paso Division.
In addition to the prison term handed down yesterday, U.S. District Judge Philip R, Martinez ordered that Hibbert pay a $1,000 fine, be placed on supervised release for a period of 20 years after completing his prison term and register as a sex offender.
According to court records, the HSI El Paso Cyber Crimes Group identified the defendant, who goes by the username “swelldad”, during an investigation involving suspected child pornography called Operation Protego. On April 3, 2014, Hibbert consented to a residential search by investigators. Evidence gathered during that search included the defendant’s laptop computer. A subsequent search of the computer revealed the presence of more than 400 images and 13 videos depicting the sexual exploitation of minors downloaded from the Internet.
On January 22, 2015, Hibbert pleaded guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography. He has remained in federal custody since his arrest on April 3, 2014.
“HSI is committed to protecting our children from individuals who exploit and prey on them,” said Waldemar Rodriguez, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. attorney’s office to arrest and prosecute such individuals in our community.”
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations together with the Texas Rangers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Almonte 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 the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.projectsafechildhood.gov.