HOUSTON – A 54-year-old man who remained in the United
States after his Visa had expired has been ordered to prison for receipt and
possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Alberto Bernal Garcia resided in Houston and pleaded guilty April 16.
Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Lee H. Rosenthal
sentenced Garcia 120
months for the receipt and possession convictions, respectively. The sentences
will run concurrently. The court also considered statements detailing the
impact to victims of child pornography. In handing down the sentence, Judge
Rosenthal recognized receipt and possession of child pornography as a form of
child abuse and a sickness or disorder. Garcia was further ordered to pay
$76,000 in restitution to known victims and will serve five years on supervised
release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have
to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to
children and the internet. He will also be ordered to register as a sex
offender. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face deportation proceedings
following the sentence.
On or about May 20, 2018, law enforcement initiated an
investigation into child pornography sharing which eventually led them to
Garcia’s work address. Authorities executed a search warrant and seized a
laptop and external hard drive which Garcia used. A forensic analysis resulted
in the discovery of approximately 794 videos and 4,837 images of child
pornography including pre-pubescent children, some as young as 3, and
bestiality. Garcia collected his child pornography on his personal
computer and an external hard drive.
Garcia came to the United States on a Visa in 1997 from
Mexico. He did an array of work until he started helping individuals with
viruses on their computers. At the time of his arrest, Garcia owned a
computer repair shop within a convenience store.
Garcia has been and will remain in custody pending
transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security
Investigations—Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force conducted this
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zahra Jivani Fenelon prosecuted
the case, which
was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood(PSC), a nationwide initiative the
Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic
of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S.
Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity
Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate,
apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and
identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page.
For more information about
internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.