LAREDO, Texas – A 22-year-old man has pleaded guilty to
possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Cristian Jose Castro admitted today he viewed and
downloaded child pornography from the internet on two of his laptop computers.
On Oct. 11, 2018, law enforcement initiated an
investigation into suspected possession and distribution of child pornography
from a Laredo residence. They later executed a federal search warrant at the
address and encountered Castro.
He admitted he obtained the child pornography from
certain messaging applications and file-sharing programs via the internet using
the wi-fi network at his residence. Castro said he had previously viewed adult
pornography but he had become bored with it. He said he first watched child
pornography when he was only nine. When law enforcement talked to him in
December 2018, he added that he had searched, downloaded and viewed child
pornography as recently as the month before. He admitted the children appearing
in that ranged in age from seven to 12 years of age and that he had also
downloaded pornography which included infants and toddlers.
A forensic analysis of one of Castro’s seized laptops
included more than 2000 images of child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo will impose
sentencing at a later date. At that time, Castro faces a minimum of up to 20
years in federal prison.
was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
The FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland
Security Investigations conducted the investigation.
U.S. Attorneys Michael Bukiewicz and Francisco Rodriguez are prosecuting the case,
which 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."