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Press Release

San Antonio Man Sentenced to 135 Years in Federal Prison on Child Pornography Charges

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

In San Antonio this afternoon, a federal judge sentenced 39-year-old Carl Wade Bailes to 135 years in federal prison for production, receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

In addition to the prison term, Chief United States District Judge Fred Biery has asked the Government to look into the matter of restitution in this case.  During the hearing, Chief Judge Biery stated that Bailes should not retain monies from his military disability or retirement, but that those monies should go to his victims and to possibly cover court costs.

In July, a federal jury convicted Bailes of two counts of production of child pornography, two counts of distribution of child pornography, two counts of possession of child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography.  According to court records and trial testimony, undercover FBI agents in September 2012 discovered numerous files depicting child pornography available for download from a peer-to-peer file sharing program on the Internet.  Further investigation identified Bailes as the person responsible for making the child pornography available through the use of his personal computer.  On October 22, 2012, FBI agents seized his computer.  A subsequent forensics examination of the computer revealed that Bailes had deleted child pornography from his computer including 157 files available for download on September 20, 2012, and 50 files available for download on October 4, 2012.  During the investigation, authorities downloaded 31 of those files prior to their deletion.  Testimony also revealed that agents were able to recover evidence that Bailes produced images depicting the sexual abuse of two minor females, ages 15 and 6.

“The magnitude of this extraordinary sentence speaks to the depravity of Bailes’ conduct.  There is little more that needs to be said about him,” stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.

“The FBI is committed to protecting children in our community, who are among the most vulnerable and precious in our society,” stated Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, FBI San Antonio Division.

This joint investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the 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

Updated November 6, 2015

Project Safe Childhood