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  3. South Texas Man Imprisoned for Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material Involving a Relative Following HSI Investigation

South Texas Man Imprisoned for Producing Child Sexual Abuse Material Involving a Relative Following HSI Laredo, Partner Investigation

Release Date: May 20, 2024

LAREDO, Texas — A South Texas man was sentenced to prison for production and possession of child pornography following an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Child Exploitation Task Force, which comprises the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the United Independent School District Police.

Aaron Negrete, 26, was sentenced to 225 months for the production and possession of child sexual abuse material. At the hearing, the court also heard additional information including testimony from the child victim’s mother, detailing the impact of Negrete’s actions. In handing down the prison term, the court noted severity of Negrete’s crimes. Negrete was further ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution to known victims of the child sexual abuse material he possessed and will serve five years on supervised release following completion of his prison term. During that time, he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Negrete will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty March 7, 2023.

“The Aaron Negrete sentence today sets the tone for how we will handle child predators in our state,” said HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Craig Larrabee. “If you harm a child, we will investigate you, we will arrest you, and we will bring the full weight of the law against you. HSI urges our South Texas community to remain vigilant against child predators and to immediately report suspected cases of child exploitation to HSI.”

According to court documents, the investigation began when authorities learned an IP address associated with Negrete had uploaded child sexual abuse material online. On Oct. 12, 2022, law enforcement executed a search warrant at his home. At that time, they found and seized several electronic devices that contained child sexual abuse material and took Negrete into custody. He ultimately admitted to downloading an application he used to search for child sexual abuse material, which included abuse of babies and toddlers. The investigation further revealed he had sexually abused a minor relative. He recorded himself doing so and shared the recordings and photographs online. The child had visited Negrete and stayed at his residence in Laredo. On more than 50 instances, Negrete forced the victim to rub his genitals and took naked pictures, among other things. The minor was told to keep it a secret to prevent “something bad” from happening.

Negrete will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

“The homes of relatives are supposed to be safe places, especially for kids, but Aaron Negrete used his residence to harm his relative numerous times, committing the most heinous acts one can perpetrate on another, let alone a child,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Alamdar S. Hamdani. “He filmed himself molesting the minor then shared the videos and images on the internet, extending the child’s victimization into perpetuity. Our hope is this significant sentence can give the victim some peace knowing Negrete is not lurking in anyone’s home, but instead behind bars for nearly 20 years to come.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Michael Makens prosecuted the case.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free tip line at 877-4-HSI-TIP. Callers may remain anonymous.

HSI takes a victim-centered approach to child exploitation investigations by working to identify, rescue and stabilize victims. HSI works in partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, ICAC partners, and other federal, state and local agencies to help solve cases and rescue sexually exploited children. You can report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

One of HSI’s top priorities is to protect the public from crimes of victimization, and HSI’s child exploitation investigations program is a central component of this mission set. Further, HSI is recognized as a global leader in this investigative discipline. The directorate is committed to utilizing its vast authorities, international footprint and strong government and nongovernment partnerships to identify and rescue child victims; identify and apprehend offenders; prevent transnational child sexual abuse; and help make the internet a safer place for children.

Last Updated: 05/20/2024
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