Ex-Navy man sentenced to more than 10 years on child pornography conviction

Published: Jan. 18, 2013 at 8:34 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2014 at 9:08 PM CST
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Derrick Mendez, 22 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Derrick Mendez, 22 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

From U.S. Department of Justice

LUBBOCK, Texas - Derrick M. Mendez, 22, who pleaded guilty in October 2012 to one count of receiving child pornography, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 121 months in federal prison, to be followed by a 10-year term of supervised release. Mendez, a former member of the U.S. Navy, was arrested earlier this summer in Hawaii, where he was stationed. In October 2011, at the time of the offense, he was stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. Today's announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, while living in San Angelo, Mendez installed peer-to-peer file-sharing software on his home computer, and then used the program to download and view numerous images and videos of child pornography. In the course of his searches, Mendez used search terms intended to locate material depicting minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct.

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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Sucsy of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock, Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.