RGV man who bought, sold child pornography sentenced to lengthy prison term

A 33-year-old man is heading to prison for close to two decades for selling child sexual abuse material to others on the internet.

U.S. District Randy Crane on Tuesday sentenced Astro Rey De Leon to 17-and-a-half years in prison on a count of selling child pornography.

A federal grand jury indicted De Leon on three counts related to recorded sexual abuse of children on Aug. 24, 2021, and several months later, on Dec. 17, 2021, he entered a guilty plea to the charge.

On Tuesday, Crane granted an oral motion by federal prosecutors to dismiss the other two charges, court records reflect.

During the sentencing hearing, Crane heard information that included chats De Leon had with other people regarding the trade and sale of the child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which also noted that the judge considered descriptions of the videos as well as victim impact statements.

“In handing down the prison term, the court noted that De Leon’s crimes were particularly heinous due to the ages of the victims, the number of videos involved and because he retained and sold videos to tailor his collection to his own desires,” the release stated. “Judge Crane also reiterated that the material was recorded sexual abuse of children and should be addressed as such.”

Crane also ordered De Leon to pay $15,000 in restitution to five victims and sentenced him to a lifetime of supervised release following the completion of his prison term. During supervised release, De Leon will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet and he will be ordered to register as a sex offender.

The investigation into De Leon began after authorities learned a computer, which was traced to his residence, was receiving child pornography.

The news release said De Leon admitted to speaking with people who were interested in buying child sexual abuse material via applications on his cellphone.

“A search of his phone revealed he had recently tried to sell child pornography,” the release states. “De Leon further admitted he had bought it himself only two months prior to law enforcement’s arrival at his residence.”

He has remained in custody since his arrest.