A federal court sentenced an Excelsior Springs man yesterday for possessing and attempting to distribute child pornography.
U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs sentenced Gabriel Valencia Jr. to 10 years in federal prison without parole.
Valencia pleaded guilty Nov. 30 to attempting to distribute child pornography over the internet and to possessing child pornography.
The investigation began when another person admitted to possessing and distributing images of child pornography, chatting online with like-minded individuals, and ultimately giving Valencia the password to a cloud-based storage site containing child pornography images. A federal agent, acting in an undercover capacity, contacted Valencia. On Sept. 22, 2016, Valencia sent the undercover agent a video of child pornography.
On Oct. 3, 2016, members of the FBI Cybercrimes Task Force executed a search warrant at Valencia’s residence. Officers seized two laptop computers, a mini tablet and two cell phones, one of which contained a 4GB micro sim card. One of the laptop computers contained approximately 300 images of child pornography. The sim card contained 606 images of child pornography and six videos of child pornography.
One of the cell phones contained thousands of chat messages, including dozens of chats in which Valencia engaged in sexually explicit conversations with numerous individuals, many of whom claimed to be under the age of 18. Valencia asked for and received, explicit photos on numerous occasions, sometimes posing as a teenage female. In one of his Skype messages, Valencia stated, “with the type of porn I look at I could go to prison for the rest of my life.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Barnes prosecuted the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigations investigated the case.
This case came as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
Those wishing to obtain more information on Project Safe Childhood can visit usdoj.gov/psc.
Those wishing to get more resources on internet safety education can visit usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, can be found online at justice.gov/wdmo.