Defendants from Inyo and Fresno Counties Sentenced in Separate Child Exploitation Cases
FRESNO, CA—Two men were sentenced today for their convictions in separate child exploitation cases, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Luis Alfredo Espinoza, 24, of Riverdale, to nine years in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release, for receipt and distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents, investigators determined that Espinoza was making child pornography available through a file-sharing program. When a search warrant was executed at his residence on November 5, 2012, his computer contained at least 191 still images and 260 video images of minors being sexually abused. Some of the victims were under five years old, and several images depicted violence, bondage, or other sadistic or masochistic conduct. Espinoza admitted that he had used different file-sharing programs to access child pornography for many years. While Espinoza is on supervised release, his access to minors, computers, and the Internet will be restricted. He has been in custody since he pleaded guilty on April 28, 2014.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Fresno office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill sentenced Lorenzo Hernandez Martinez, 37, of Bishop, to 18 months in prison, to be followed by 36 months of supervised release, for attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor.
According to court documents, Martinez communicated through Facebook chats from mid-October 2013 through February 2014 with someone whom he believed to a 14 year-old female in Oregon. Martinez quickly turned the communications in a sexual direction, and he repeatedly transmitted explicit images. In fact, Martinez was communicating with an undercover detective in Corvallis, Oregon. The Corvallis Police Department worked with the Bishop Police Department and the Bakersfield FBI office to identify Martinez. When a search warrant was executed at his residence on March 11, 2014, agents seized a cellphone that contained communications with the undercover detective in Oregon as well as sexually explicit images that Martinez said he had transmitted to minors, including a minor female in China. Because he has resided in the United States without legal authorization for the past 18 years, Martinez also agreed not to challenge his removal from the United States.
Assistant United States Attorney David Gappa prosecuted both cases. They have been 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 those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. Click on the “resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.