Monday, March 24, 2008
Rio Grande Defendants Investigated by Cyber Crimes Unit Indicted, Arrested on Child Pornography ChargesMCALLEN – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit arrested two Rio Grande Valley defendants last week following their criminal indictments on child pornography charges.
On March 12, a Hidalgo County grand jury charged Jack Arnold Heflin, 30, of McAllen, with one count of child pornography possession and three counts of child pornography promotion. Heflin was arrested March 17 and booked into the Hidalgo County Jail. Mercedes resident Jay Cirilo Garcia, 29, was indicted on one count of child pornography promotion and eight counts of child pornography possession. Garcia was arrested and booked into the Cameron County Jail on March 17. Assistant Attorneys General Angela Goodwin and Heather Youree are prosecuting the cases in conjunction with the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office.
“These defendants are charged with possessing and promoting child pornography,” Attorney General Abbott said. “The Cyber Crimes Unit will continue protecting children by aggressively investigating and prosecuting online predators. We are grateful to the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with these cases.”
The Cyber Crimes Unit investigated Heflin for allegedly sharing child pornography online through a file-sharing Web site. The investigation resulted in the uncovering of several child pornography images and videos. Heflin was employed at a retail store at the time of the investigation.
Cyber Crimes Unit investigators conducted a forensic analysis on Garcia’s computer after a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children indicated Garcia was uploading child pornography to an Internet chat room. Garcia’s computer is alleged to have contained several child pornography images. At the time of the investigation, Garcia worked as a security guard at a Brownsville hospital.
Under Texas law, possession of child pornography is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Promotion of child pornography is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting child predators. Since 2003, the Cyber Crimes Unit and Fugitive Unit have arrested more than 600 sex predators. Prosecutors also have obtained convictions against more than 70 men on child pornography charges.
For more information, contact the Office of the Attorney General at (800) 252-8011 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.