In Midland today, a federal judge sentenced 32-year-old Christopher Ernest Martinez to a statutory-maximum 80 years in federal prison for producing and distributing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney John F. Bash.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge David Counts ordered that Martinez be placed on supervised release for a period of ten years after completing his prison term. On December 19, 2019, Martinez pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.
On March 4, 2020, Judge Counts sentenced co-defendant, 23-year-old Kelsey Renee Hubbard of Midland, to 40 years in federal prison followed by ten years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one count of aiding and abetting production of child pornography and one count of distribution of child pornography.
According to court records, a local business contacted the Midland Police Department (MPD) on September 30, 2019, about a computer sold to them by Hubbard. The computer contained several images of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The business contacted MPD when Hubbard appeared the next day attempting to sell jewelry. Officers arrived on the scene and detained Hubbard. Hubbard admitted to investigators that she attempted to clear the computer’s memory before selling it. She also consented to allow MPD to search her cell phone. A forensics exam of her phone revealed several text messages in September 2019 in which Hubbard and Martinez exchanged approximately 60 images of child pornography, most of them produced by Hubbard at the request of Martinez.
“Today a child predator is off the streets for good. The 80-year sentence sends a powerful signal about our seriousness in fighting the scourge of child abuse,” stated U.S. Attorney Bash.
The Midland Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Daniels and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin Berry prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.