HOUSTON – A 24-year-old man from Houston has been ordered to federal prison for receipt and possession of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick. Lucio Banda pleaded guilty March 21, 2018.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt sentenced Banda to 120 months in prison. At the hearing, Banda tried to mitigate his responsibility by claiming he did not distribute child pornography on the internet through his use of a peer-to-peer program. The court heard arguments and reviewed evidence regarding how the file-sharing program worked with respect to the sharing and distribution of files Banda made available. In handing down the sentence, the court noted Banda was responsible for the distribution of child pornography. He was further ordered to pay $18,136.40 in restitution to the known victims included in his collection and will serve 10 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. He will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
Banda first came to the attention of law enforcement after they found multiple images of child pornography associated with his online account.
Authorities conducted a search at his residence, at which time they seized Samsung Galaxy Note 3 cellular phone and a San Disk Micro SD Ultra flash drive and a San Disk Ultra Plush flash memory card. Forensic analysis ultimately uncovered 2,191 images and 251 videos contained child pornography which included a substantial number of files with minor females under the age of five. Some of the images are known victims identified through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
He admitted the child pornography was his as well as the online account he used to obtain child pornography and acknowledged using peer-to-peer software to search for, download and obtain child pornography. He also admitted to viewing child pornography for at least five years and that he had been doing so for at least two to three years.
Banda was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie N. Searle is prosecuting the case which 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 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. 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/pscand click on the tab “resources.”