MCALLEN, TX—Luis Andres Cardona, 54, of Mission, Texas, has been sentenced to 324 months in prison for production of child pornography, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Cardona pleaded guilty October 4, 2011.
At the sentencing hearing today, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa considered the fact that for a period of two years, Cardona videotaped the “sexually explicit” encounters he had with the victim, which began when she was only 7 years old.
The federal charges arise from an investigation initiated by the Mission Police Department, which culminated in the arrest of Cardona in May 2011 on state charges involving the alleged sexual abuse of a 9-year-old female. Further investigation by the FBI led to the return of a federal indictment on August 9, 2011 charging Cardona with one count of production of child pornography using materials that had been mailed, shipped, or transported in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce. The offense took place from December 2008 to October 2010.
Cardona was remanded to state custody to complete a 50-year state sentence he received on August 31, 2011 for continuous sexual abuse of a child. The stage charges arose from the “sexually explicit” conduct he recorded. Judge Hinojosa ordered the federal sentence to run concurrent with the state sentence. Should Cardona ever be released from prison, Judge Hinojosa ordered he serve a five-year-term of supervised release. Cardona is required to register as a sex offender.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Juan F. Alanis and Kimberly Bulger Leo, 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/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”