June 24, 2014

Illegal Alien Gets Maximum Sentence for Distribution of Child Pornography

HOUSTON—Carmen Hernandez has been sentenced to the statutory maximum of 20 years for distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Hernandez, 37, pleaded guilty to the charge March 31, 2014.

Today, U.S. District Judge David Hittner handed Hernandez the maximum 240 months in in federal prison to be followed by life on supervised release. He must also register as a sex offender. Due to his illegal status in the country, he is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.

Hernandez utilized peer-to-peer software to obtain and distribute child pornography images and videos via the Internet. A savvy computer user, he had provided technological assistance to his neighbor and used their wi-fi to facilitate his criminal behavior. This unsuspecting family was then subject of a search warrant executed at the location which authorities believed was traceable to Hernandez. The investigation revealed Hernandez had access to their Internet service provider. He later admitted to the illegal activity.

Forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of child pornography images/videos on computer media belonging to Hernandez. These images included those involving bondage and children under 12 being penetrated by adults and foreign objects.

The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by members of the Houston Area Cyber Crimes Task Force of the FBI which focuses its attention on, among other things, investigating offenses involving the exploitation of children via the Internet.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri L. Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”