SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Sunnyvale man who absconded following his indictment on federal child pornography charges is the latest fugitive to be profiled on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) smartphone app, seeking public tips on at-large and unknown child predator suspects.
Jose Alberto Centurion-Cruz, aka Jose Alberto Cruz, 30, was indicted by a federal grand jury in northern California in January 2013 for possession and distribution of child pornography. When ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents searched Centurion-Cruz's Sunnyvale residence in connection with the probe, they found more than 100 sexually explicit videos of minors on his laptop computer and other digital media. Centurion-Cruz was scheduled to appear in federal court in San Jose last month, but failed to show up for his hearing. On March 18, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Centurion-Cruz is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Investigators believe Centurion-Cruz, who is a Salvadoran national, may have fled to his native country.
Centurion-Cruz's mug shot, along with his biographical information, are now posted on ICE's Operation Predator App, which has been downloaded more than 89,000 times since its launch in September 2013. The app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store or from iTunes. Tips from the public can be reported anonymously through the app, by phone or online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We're hoping featuring this fugitive on the Predator app will produce some valuable leads in this case and ultimately result in his capture," said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for HSI San Francisco. "Social media has proven to be an invaluable asset in HSI's efforts to identify and locate offenders in child sexual exploitation cases such as this one."
ICE's Operation Predator App allows users to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app allows users to view news about the arrest and prosecution of child predators and obtain information about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation. This year, the app was nominated as one of eight finalists for "Best App" in the PR News' 2014 Social Media Icon Awards.
HSI requests that anyone with information about Centurion-Cruz, or any of the other fugitives profiled on the app, contact the agency though the app; or by calling the HSI Tip Line, which is staffed 24-hours a day at 1-866-347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada, or 1-802-872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or by submitting an online tip form at www.ice.gov/tips/. Individuals should not attempt to apprehend the suspect personally.
The smartphone app is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.