NEW BRAUNFELS — Burton De La Garza will spend 27 years in federal prison on federal charges of production of child pornography.

De La Garza, 38, pleaded guilty Sept. 2 and was sentenced Thursday, said Daryl Fields, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District in San Antonio. 

“On Thursday, Mr. De La Garza was sentenced by 324 months in federal prison, followed by 25 years of supervised release for production of child pornography,” Fields said. 

Statutorily, the sentence was close to the maximum — De La Garza could have been sentenced to anywhere from zero to 30 years for the conviction, Fields said. 

De La Garza was arrested by FBI agents on Oct. 16, 2009, at The Scooter Store in New Braunfels, where he worked. He had been in federal custody ever since. 

He originally faced charges of possession of child pornography as well; those charges were dropped at his sentencing Thursday in the court of U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia in the federal courthouse in San Antonio. 

The long sentence was essential, U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy said in a statement issued Tuesday. 

“Lengthy federal prison terms like the one imposed in this case should serve as notice that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” Murphy said.

 “It is important to prosecute these violators in order to hold them accountable for their criminal actions. Our children are our most important yet our most vulnerable resource. We must protect them from those who prey upon their innocence,” he said.

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