McALLEN, Texas – A 43-year-old McAllen resident has been ordered to federal prison for receipt of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Ramiro Vasquez pleaded guilty March 3, 2021.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane imposed a 121-month term of imprisonment. In handing down the sentence, the court noted the amount of child pornography Vasquez had downloaded. The court also ordered him to pay $3,000 in restitution to each of the 20 identified victims. Judge Crane further noted Vasquez’s employment as an instructional assistant for a McAllen Independent School District elementary school. Vasquez must also serve eight 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. Vasquez will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
In January 2020, authorities began an investigation into child sexual abuse material sharing on the internet. This led them to Vasquez and his address in McAllen.
Law enforcement executed a search at his residence and seized multiple electronic and digital devices. During this time, they noted one of the devices was currently in the process of downloading child sexual abuse material. Forensic analysis resulted in the discovery of 8,601 unique images and 1,366 videos of child sexual abuse material.
Vasquez 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 Task Force conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Mitchell 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 tab on that page.