Provided by U.S. Department of Justice
Ruben Cuellar, 42, of Shallowater, Texas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to one count of transportation of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. Cuellar faces a statutory sentence of not less than five or more than 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and up to a lifetime of supervised release. Judge Cummings ordered a presentence investigation report with a sentencing date to be set after the completion of that report. Cuellar has been in custody since his arrest in March 2012 on related charges outlined in a federal criminal complaint.
According to documents filed in the case, in March 2012, as part of their investigation to identify those possessing child pornography, Lubbock Police Department officers, working in an undercover capacity, determined that Cuellar had child pornography on his computer. Officers were able to make a direct connection with Cuellar's computer, and using peer-to-peer file-sharing software, were able to download several images of child pornography from Cuellar's computer.
Law enforcement executed a search warrant at Cuellar's residence on March 8, 2012, and seized several computers and related electronic storage media. According to the affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, Cuellar admitted using Limewire P2P software to obtain child pornography from the Internet, and stated that he looked for images of children as young as six-years-old.
This case was brought 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 U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
The investigation was conducted by the Lubbock Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, is in charge of the prosecution.