Mexican national stopped at border sentenced for possession of child pornography

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 29-year-old Mexican national has been ordered to federal prison for possessing hundreds of images and videos of child pornography, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Luis Felipe Salazar-Sanchez pleaded guilty May 5.

Today, U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera ordered him to serve a 70-month-term of imprisonment to be immediately followed by 10 years of supervised release. Not a U.S. citizen, he is expected to face removal proceedings following the sentence. The court considered statements from seven victims describing the trauma they have endured. In handing down the prison term, Judge Olvera additionally ordered Salazar-Sanchez to pay  $9,000 in restitution which will be divided equally amongst victims who requested restitution.

The investigation revealed Salazar-Sanchez had been purchasing child pornography. On Oct. 20, 2019, authorities suspected he was going to attempt to enter the United States from Mexico.

As he approached the Gateway Port of Entry in Brownsville, law enforcement identified him and referred him to secondary inspection. There, they conducted a search of his cellphone. Forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of nearly 600 images and videos of child pornography including numerous images depicting prepubescent minors and sadistic and masochistic conduct.

Salazar-Sanchez has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

Homeland Security Investigations – Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigation Task Force conducted the investigation with the assistance of Customs and Border Protection.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nikki Piquette 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.

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