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Press Release

San Antonio Man Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing, Distributing Child Pornography

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

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced in a federal court in San Antonio to 300 months in prison for possession and distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM).

According to court documents, Stephen Aaron Potts, 35, used Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing software to distribute 194 files, representing 2.63 TBs of materials, containing CSAM to an undercover law enforcement computer between Nov. 17, 2021, and Jan. 19, 2022.

On May 4, 2022, Homeland Security Investigations agents executed a federal search warrant at Potts’ residence, seizing numerous electronic devices, including 22 external hard drives, two computers, one laptop, four flash drives, three smartphones, and five micro-SD cards. Forensic analysis of one 2.5 TB device contained 9,085 video files and 31,861 image files of CSAM.

Potts was arrested May 4, 2022 and has remained in federal custody. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 25, 2022 to one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography. In an interview with federal agents, Potts stated that he would leave his computer on and enable the P2P software to download CSAM 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

“Crimes involving the possession of child pornography, or child sexual abuse material, are never victimless,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas. “By constantly downloading and sharing child sexual abuse material, this defendant inflicted immense damage on many vulnerable children. Thanks to our partners at HSI and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, we have put an end to this predator’s heinous acts and, hopefully, given those victims some of the relief they are due.”

“Today’s sentence serves as a reminder to all predators. We will not allow crimes against children to go unpunished,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Alejandro M. Amaro for HSI San Antonio. “While this significant sentence cannot repair the damage done to the children exploited by these images, it is a warning to those who engage in this behavior: HSI and our law enforcement partners will be relentless in our pursuit of online predators.”

HSI and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bettina Richardson 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.

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Updated March 20, 2024

Topic
Project Safe Childhood