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In Del Rio today, a federal judge sentenced 21-year-old Uvalde resident Pedro Gonzalez, Jr. to 40 months in federal prison for possessing hundreds of images of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Gregg N. Sofer and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee, San Antonio Division.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone ordered that Gonzalez be placed on supervised release for a period of 10 years after his incarceration.

According to court records, HSI agents executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on August 22, 2019.  During the search, investigators seized items belonging to Gonzalez including a portable hard drive, PlayStation console, thumb drive, laptop computer, desktop computer and two cell phones.  A forensic examination of the seized items revealed the presence of approximately 787 images and 26 videos of material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors.  On March 19, 2020, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography.

“With ever increasing access to communication platforms, HSI must continue to stay a step ahead of those who exploit technology to facilitate some of the worst crimes in modern society. The defendant in this case, Pedro Gonzalez will serve the next three years in prison for his unfathomable acts,” said Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Craig Larrabee, HSI San Antonio. “HSI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue those who victimize the most vulnerable members of our society, our children.”

HSI investigated this case with valuable assistance from the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Attorney General’s Office and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rex Beasley, Ben Tonkin and Sydni Connell 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

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