HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WSPA) – Hendersonville Police Department officials said a man was sentenced to over 22 years after he reportedly lured minors into making child pornography using popular smart phone apps.
According to a news release, Gabriel Zagazeta, 31, of Hendersonville, was sentenced to 22.5 years after pleading guilty to coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct.
Court documents revealed that Zagazeta used multiple smart phone apps to make contact with minors, and lured them into creating and sending him sexually explicit images and videos.
On May 16, 2016, Zagazeta reportedly created an account with a smart phone app that allows users to create and share images and videos of themselves.
According to the release, Zagazeta made contact with female minors in Minnesota and in Alabama by using the app.
On Dec. 15, 2016, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Zagazeta’s home and seized computers, hard drives and two smart phones.
The seized items reportedly contained over 1,000 images and nearly 1,100 videos of children engaging in sexually explicit conduct, according to the release.
On Jan. 4, 2019, Zagazeta pleaded guilty to the charge.
Zagazeta was ordered to serve a lifetime of supervised release and was ordered to register as a sex offender once he is released from prison.