Sturgis man faces up to 20 years in prison for possessing, processing child sexually abusive material

(Alek Haak-Frost|Watershed Voice)

Adalberto (Jacob) Garcia, 24, of Sturgis faces up to 20 years in prison after a St. Joseph County Circuit Court jury found Garcia guilty on multiple charges related to possessing and processing child sexually abusive material, according to a press release issued by County Prosecutor David Marvin. 

Garcia was convicted of using the internet to commit a crime, and two counts of aggravated possession of child sexually abusive material (CSAM) following a two-day trial in the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman. A tip regarding child sexually abusive material being possessed by a Sturgis man from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) led to Garcia’s conviction. 

NCMEC received a tip from SnapChat in early April 2021, which was connected to the screen name “officialalpha-j” and tracked via internet ISP to 109 Susan Street in Sturgis. Det. Tpr. Specialist Kyle Bowers of the Michigan State Police (MSP) along with MSP Det. Tpr. Torey Johns investigated the tip. After search warrants to SnapChat and Charter Communications were executed, Garcia was contacted and a search warrant was executed at his home. 

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Davis tried the case on behalf of the people of the State of Michigan, and used testimony from the MSP Detectives to tie together the NCMEC tip, SnapChat search warrant return pictures, and digital data collected from Garcia’s phone, PlayStation 5, and desktop computer. 

Stutesman will sentence Garcia on July 22, 2022, who faces up to a maximum of over 20 years in prison as he is a habitual second offender. Garcia was previously convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the fourth degree, and was on felony probation at the time of these offenses. 

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor and publisher of Watershed Voice.

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