Laredoan pleads guilty to child pornography charges
Luis Alberto Alcala, 24, of Laredo, Texas, has pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to view visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
During the plea colloquy before Senior U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker Thursday, Alcala admitted to downloading from child pornography sites and viewing pictures and videos of girls under the age of 18 engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Several of the images were identified as known victims and indexed in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The case arose from a Homeland Security Investigations and Laredo Police Department investigation that began in June 2008 after a complaint of the theft of a debit/credit card. The card was used to purchase a computer at Wal-Mart along with other items that were not authorized by the owner of the debit/credit card.
Further investigation by LPD led to Alcala who admitted to detectives that he had used the card to purchase the laptop computer that was found at his apartment. A search of the computer by LPD showed that the computer hard drive contained numerous visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit acts, at which time LPD referred this part of the investigation to HSI.
HSI agents conducted a forensic exam of the computer’s hard drive, which revealed 194 photographic images and 20 movies of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Alcala admitted to LPD investigators that he had downloaded the images himself because he was curious.
Alcala is expected to be sentenced in October 2012, at which time he faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 maximum fine. Alcala has been in custody where he will remain pending that hearing.
The case was investigated by HSI and LPD. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice also provided assistance in the overall resolution of the matter.