On July 18, Fort Stockton resident and Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) worker Jose Luis Villalobos was charged with receipt of child pornography. The Fort Stockton Pioneer reported this via a Facebook update on the same day.
According to the July 5 affidavit supplied by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pinterest Inc. contacted Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Alpine around Feb. 1 in reference to potentially pornographic pictures of children. Pinterest is a social media platform in which the user can "pin" links to their page; most people use it for recipes and craft ideas. The pictures they discussed had been uploaded by Pinterest user user “Guiso Larcia” in February and March of 2016. Pinterest also provided HSI with an email address associated with the same user.
TDS Telecom then provided information to HSI in response to a summons, the affidavit stated, and that the subscriber at the time of the Pinterest uploads was Jovann Villalobos in Fort Stockton.
According to the affidavit, HSI Alpine special agents served Google with a search warrant for the email address provided by Pinterest. Google provided HSI with all the account data associated with the account, including “…numerous images of suspected child pornography.”
Google also included information on the name “Guis Larcia” and a phone number associated with a business called “Lobos Studios.” The affidavit stated, “Record checks of Lobos Studios found that the listed ‘Key Executive’ was Jose Villalobos.”
HSI then subpoenaed DirectBytes and received information stating the subscriber for the time of the uploads was, again, Jovann Villalobos.
It was found that some IP addresses associated with the images were that of the TxDOT. The affidavit stated, “The second most frequently used IP address to access the Google account… belongs to the Texas Department of Transportation.”
An IP address is a special string of numbers that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol (IP). One's internet usage can be investigated from their IP address.
HSI agents’ investigations found that Jose Villalobos was married to Jovann Villalobos, and that he was employed by TxDOT.
According to the affidavit, search warrants were executed on June 30 by HSI Alpine and the Border Enforcement Security Taskforce (BEST) Big Bend at Villalobos’s residence and workplace.
During this time, HSI agents were able to meet Villalobos at Love’s gas station in Fort Stockton for a consensual interview. Villalobos was not yet in custody.
The affidavit noted that Villalobos said the Pinterest account and the Google account they’d investigated did belong to him. Villalobos admitted to the agents that he had searched specific terms in order to find pornographic images of young females and “…stated that he had ‘probably run into some, yeah.’”
Villalobos also told agents a laptop at his house, and a thumb drive and external hard drive in his vehicle would most likely contain similar images. He was arrested the same day.
The Office of the U.S. Attorney also provided a copy of Villalobos’s indictment, filed on July 13. The indictment shows Villalobos was indicted on one count of Receipt of Child Pornography.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Villalobos’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8, and is a docket call to schedule further court dates.