Texan admits guilt to multiple charges under Project Safe Childhood

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

LAREDO, Texas – A 30-year-old Laredo resident has pleaded guilty to receiving and possessing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

The investigation began after authorities linked David De Los Santos to child exploitative materials in the internet.

Law enforcement conducted a search of his residence in Laredo and seized numerous digital devices. A forensic analysis revealed 832 image and video files depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to court documents, the files included children under the age of 5 and images involving elements of bondage or bestiality.

Today, he admitted to receiving and possessing pornographic images, but challenged the content of those items.

U.S. District Judge Diana Saldaña will consider all factors and impose sentencing on a later date. At that time, De Los Santos faces a up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

He has been and will remain in custody pending sentencing.  

Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Laredo Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Petters is prosecuting 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 link on that page.