Modesto man pleads guilty to producing child porn

local@modbee.comApril 29, 2013 

— A 37-year-old Modesto man on Monday pleaded guilty to producing a child pornography video found on the Internet by officials in Denmark, the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento reported.

Timothy Valdez was convicted of producing material involving the sexual exploitation of minors. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 22.

As part of his plea deal, Valdez agreed to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison, which is the maximum sentence for the charge. The agreed-upon sentence is subject to the court's endorsement at the sentencing hearing.

Federal prosecutors said the video found on the Internet depicted explicit images of a man molesting a boy. Through extensive investigative work, authorities identified Valdez as the man in the video March 9 and arrested him the next day.

Common household products such as Hershey's chocolate syrup, Dial soap and Dawn dishwashing liquid in the background suggested to the Danes that the video likely was made in North America, according to a criminal complaint filed March 12 in federal court in Fresno.

In December, officials in Denmark alerted U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigation authorities.

Agents obtained a federal warrant to search Valdez's home, near Downey High School in central Modesto. The criminal complaint states that Valdez admitted being the man in the video made in 2008 in Oklahoma.

"Today's guilty plea should also be a sobering reminder to pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by hiding in cyberspace," said Ray Greenlee, assistant special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigation, San Francisco. "HSI will do everything in its power and use every tool at its disposal to keep our children safe — whether they are around the block or around the world."

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