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Galveston school bus driver 'Mr. Happy' gets 500 months for producing child porn

GALVESTON, Texas – A Southeast Texas school bus driver who went by "Mr. Happy" on an adult website must serve nearly 42 years in prison in a child pornography case.

Michael Lee Martinez was sentenced Monday in federal court in Galveston. The 46-year-old Galveston man in September pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child, plus possession and distribution of child pornography.

In handing down the sentence, Judge George C. Hanks Jr. called his actions horrible and selfish: “You destroyed the lives of three innocent children and society has to protect itself from people like you.” 

Investigators said Martinez, who drove a Galveston school bus in 2014, produced images for a website used by pedophiles to exchange pornography. Martinez had nearly 2,000 child porn videos and images when indicted and arrested last year.

Prosecutors said Martinez abused three girls by using them as subjects. There's no evidence that the bus driver's criminal behavior was connected to his job or that the victims were on his route. All of the victims were under 16 years of age with one only five. 

Martinez created an account on a particular website hosted outside the U.S. in May 2014, using the screen name “Mr. Happy” and indicated he loved girls eight to 16 years of age. The website was used by individuals sexually exploiting children and looking to connect with others who shared their interest in the sexual exploitation of children by trading images of child pornography. His profile contained 37 albums with hundreds of images of child pornography.

A review of his albums led law enforcement to believe Martinez was producing some of the images he had posted to the website. Law enforcement was able to identify the victims and learned Martinez was a school bus driver. There is no indication that any of this criminal behavior was connected to his employment nor any of his victims a part of his route.   

Martinez was originally arrested by local authorities and later transferred to federal custody where he has been and will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. 

The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by Homeland Security Investigations with the assistance of the Galveston Police Department – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He still faces state charges in Galveston.