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Judge sentences Harlingen man to 20 years in federal prison for distributing child porn

A federal judge sentenced a Harlingen man to 20 years in prison Wednesday for distribution of child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera sentenced Kevin Michael Kaster, 26, of Harlingen to 20 years in federal prison on Wednesday afternoon.

Agents with the Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Investigations Task Force arrested Kaster in February, according to federal court records. The task force includes agents with Homeland Security Investigations -- a division of U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement -- in Brownsville and Harlingen.

During a search, federal agents found 22 child pornography videos on Kaster's computer, according to the criminal complaint against him.

"Kaster admitted to being the owner of the computer and being in possession of child pornography," according to the criminal complaint. "Kaster stated that during the last three years, he has downloaded child pornography to his computer."

Agents later determined Kaster also sexually exploited a girl, encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct.

Prosecutors secured a four-count indictment against Kaster, which charged him with sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, possession of child pornography and receipt of child pornography.

Kaster plead guilty to distribution of child pornography. Prosecutors asked the judge to dismiss the remaining charges.

Olvera sentenced Kaster to the maximum prison sentence -- 20 years --- on the distribution charge.

"The heavy sentence imposed on Kaster sends a clear message that there are serious consequences for those who exploit children,” said Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Homeland Security Investigations-San Antonio. “Targeting crimes of this nature is a high priority for HSI. We will continue to dedicate HSI resources nationwide to prevent exploitation, prosecute perpetrators, and protect our children."

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