By Staff

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Former South Texas police officer Joel Alex Sandate will spend the next 10 years behind bars for possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

ICE’s HSI Rio Grande Valley Child Exploitation Task Force conducted the investigation with assistance from the Primera Police Department, Texas Rangers and the Cameron County District Attorney.

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Sandate, 32, of Los Fresnos, Texas, was sentenced Oct. 7 in federal court to 10 years in federal prison. His sentence is to be followed immediately followed by 20 years of supervised release. He will also have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Sandate will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. At the hearing, the judge heard additional information including a victim impact statement and her mother. Sandate was further ordered to pay $4,320 in restitution to the known victim and ordered an additional $10,000 special assessment.

According to court documents, the investigation revealed that from Sept. 2019 to March 2020, Sandate had installed hidden cameras to capture recordings of a minor female. He saved the recorded videos onto various computer media devices such as his cellphone, a sim card and a USB drive.

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Another PPD officer had discovered the images and reported it to authorities.

Sandate remains in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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