ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that Bobby Peña was sentenced on Nov. 14 to three years and seven months in prison. Peña, of Albuquerque, pleaded guilty on Feb. 10 to possession of child pornography and false claims against the government.
Peña was the owner and sole operator of De La Peña LLC. From May 2008 to June 2017, Peña worked as a subcontractor to Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, and entered into a contract with SNL and the United States Department of Energy to provide specialized cleaning services, including air particle count monitoring and cleanroom cleaning services, for three buildings at SNL.
Between July 1, 2015, and Feb. 28, 2017, Peña fraudulently submitted invoices totaling $47,025 for air particle count monitoring and $6,000 for cleanroom cleaning services that had not been performed. In the plea agreement, Peña admitted to fraudulently submitting invoices for an additional $14,850 for air particle count monitoring and $2,250 for cleanroom cleaning services. Peña received a total of $70,125 from the Department of Energy for services for which he had fraudulently invoiced SNL but had not performed.
In connection with the investigation into Peña’s illegal activities, law enforcement executed a search warrant at the De La Peña business address on Dec. 13, 2017. During the search, investigators seized several electronic devices, including three external hard drives. Forensic analysis of the devices revealed approximately 3,972 images and 58 videos of child pornography, material that included depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Upon his release from prison, Peña will be subject to five years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender.
The Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General investigated this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico prosecuted the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
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USAO - New Mexico;
Department of Energy OIG