In San Antonio today, a federal judge sentenced 23–year-old Tommy Ray Garcia to the maximum 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden, San Antonio.
During sentencing yesterday, Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra also ordered that Garcia be placed under supervised release for a period of ten years after completing his prison term.
“Words escape me. The crime here was unimaginably horrific. I am grateful that Judge Ezra sentenced Garcia to the maximum allowed by law. The sexual abuse of children is a problem that our country is not doing nearly enough about. We need to wake up,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
“The heavy sentence imposed on Mr. Garcia sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit children in any way,” stated Special Agent in Charge, Shane Folden, HSI San Antonio. “Targeting crimes of this nature is a high priority for HSI. We will continue to dedicate HSI resources worldwide to identify and bring to justice these individuals.”
On January 2, 2019, before Judge Ezra, Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. According to the factual basis filed in this case, which Garcia admitted was true, on multiple occasions in 2016, he chose a 16-month-old female who was unable to communicate her trauma, and sexually assaulted her while taking videos and pictures. Those videos and images were discovered after he distributed them on a social media application. During the execution of a search warrant at the defendant’s residence on January 31, 2018, Garcia admitted to authorities he produced the videos and images of child pornography. Garcia was arrested following his admission and has since remained in federal custody.
HSI San Antonio, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and HSI Vancouver investigated this case with assistance from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Thompson 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.