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Friendswood man, 22, gets 40 years for child porn convictions

By Nick Powell

Published

  • Ryan Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, stands by during a 2src18 news conference in Houston. Patrick announced on Feb. 21, 2src2src that a Friendswood man was sentenced to 4src years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography. Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle / © 2src18 Houston Chronicle

    Ryan Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, stands by during a 2018 news conference in Houston. Patrick announced on Feb. 21, 2020 that a Friendswood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography.

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    Ryan Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, stands by during a 2018 news conference in Houston. Patrick announced on Feb. 21, 2020 that a Friendswood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison

    … more

    Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Ryan Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, stands by during a 2018 news conference in Houston. Patrick announced on Feb. 21, 2020 that a Friendswood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography.

less

Ryan Patrick, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, stands by during a 2018 news conference in Houston. Patrick announced on Feb. 21, 2020 that a Friendswood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison

… more

Photo: Brett Coomer, Staff / Houston Chronicle

A Friendswood man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for producing and possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick announced Friday.

U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. handed Malik Berlanga, 22, a sentence of 360 months Friday for producing child pornography, according to a news release from Patrick’s office. Berlanga also received 120 months for the possession conviction, which will run consecutively for a total 40-year-prison sentence. Berlanga will also be on supervised release for life following completion of that 480-month federal prison term.

At the hearing, the court heard that Berlanga’s preferential age was between the ages of 5 and 10 and that he had a foot fetish. In one particular video, Berlanga is seen licking and sucking a minor female’s feet while she is asleep.

At the hearing, the court described other pornographic videos in Berlanga’s possession involving children under the age of 5. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hanks noted he had a duty to protect the public and anything less than the term imposed would not have done that.

A cyber-tip submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the Berlanga’s identification. He had created videos of a minor female and stored them in his Dropbox account. Authorities found 14 child pornography videos in a folder entitled “Personal CP” that Berlanga produced.

Law enforcement later conducted a search warrant at his residence, seizing several cellular phones and a laptop computer located in Berlanga’s bedroom. Forensic analysis of those items revealed more than 5000 images and 70 videos containing child pornography. Authorities also found several videos that Berlanga produced on these devices as well.

The investigation revealed the victim to be a minor relative, approximately 7 to 8 years of age during the production of some of the videos and images.

The investigation revealed some of the images were taken at a hotel in the Galleria area during the 2018 BBQ cook off — the precursor to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations led the investigation into Berlanga with the assistance of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which included detectives from police departments in Galveston, Pearland and Webster.

Berlanga has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to federal prison facility that has not yet been determined.

nick.powell@chron.com

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