Home Oklahoma City Press Releases 2011 California Man Pleads Guilty to Trading Video Game Cheat Codes for Child Pornography

California Man Pleads Guilty to Trading Video Game Cheat Codes for Child Pornography

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 03, 2011
  • Western District of Oklahoma (405) 553-8700

OKLAHOMA CITY—JOHN KENNETH CALDERON BASTO (a/k/a Tribal x MoDzz), 22, of Long Beach, California, pled guilty today to causing the distribution of child pornography of a 10-year-old Oklahoma boy, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to court records, Basto and the elementary schooler met playing the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on their Xbox LIVE gaming stations. Xbox LIVE allows gamers to communicate with each other through headsets while they play online. Basto and the boy talked online, and he eventually invited the boy into a private chat room, where they exchanged cell phone numbers. Through phone calls and text messages, Basto asked the boy for pictures of his genitals. In exchange for the pictures, Basto promised to send the boy 20 cheat codes, which give a gamer elite weapons, unlimited lives, and other advantages. The boy sent pictures with his cell phone to Basto in California via text message. Basto then told the boy to delete his text messages and pictures so he would not get caught. The case came to light when the boy’s mother discovered text messages from an out-of-state phone number on his cell phone and alerted authorities.

Basto is currently in federal custody. United States District Judge Robin J. Cauthron will sentence him on February 8, 2012. He faces not less than five years and up to 20 years in federal prison, lifetime supervised release, and sex offender registration.

This case was part of Project Safe Childhood, the flagship program in the Department of Justice’s National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, and was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Oklahoma and California. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Hale.