U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, along with Massachusetts State Police detectives, had contacted the Mesa Police Department with a potential child molestation and child pornography case. ICE HSI is currently working a complex child pornography investigation and part of their investigation is based out of Boston. Their investigation showed there was a suspect in Mesa that might have ongoing access to a child and was producing homemade child pornography. ICE HSI special agents provided Mesa Police Department investigators with graphic child pornography videos of a small child being molested.
Detectives were able to identify the suspect as Brandon Jones, 26, of Mesa. The victim and his mother were contacted at their residence as detectives prepared to execute a search warrant. During the service of the search warrant, items were located that matched items seen in the child pornography videos involving this victim. During an initial search of Jones' laptop computer, child pornography was located including the homemade child pornography videos of Jones molesting the victim. While detectives were conducting their search of the residence, Brandon Jones returned to the home and was taken into custody. During a custodial interview, Jones confessed to molesting the victim and videotaping the crime.
"Within a matter of hours, HSI special agents in Massachusetts, along with Massachusetts State Police detectives, identified a potential victim in Arizona and notified my agents here in Phoenix," said Matt Allen, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Phoenix. "Thanks to quick efforts by the Mesa Police Department, this child was rescued from a very dangerous situation. By working together on initiatives such as the Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, law enforcement agencies across the United States have created a team effort to protect our children from predators."
"The arrest of Brandon Jones should serve as a warning to those who would prey on the innocent children in our communities," said Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead. "Investigating those who victimize our children will remain a top priority of the Mesa Police Department. This arrest was made possible by the collaboration between local law enforcement and our federal law enforcement partners."
Brandon Jones was arrested and charged with two counts of sexual conduct with a minor, and four counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.