EL PASO, Texas — An El Paso man, who pleaded guilty Thursday to producing child pornography, now faces up to 30 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Tomas Steven Quiñones, 48, admitted to producing a video in December 2010 that contained child pornography. Specifically, Quiñones admitted to knowingly persuading and enticing two minors to take part in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a video depiction of such conduct. In the video he is seen and heard instructing the children on how to have sex.
On Aug. 29, 2013, agents executed a search warrant at Quiñones's home and seized more than 90 computers, accessories and other miscellaneous items, including: laptop computers, desktop computers, computer hard drives, thumb drives, memory sticks, flash drives, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes.
During an on-site forensics examination of the seized items, authorities discovered hundreds of image files and video files that are indicative of child pornography. Quiñones remains in federal custody pending sentencing. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, HSI agents arrested more than 2,000 individuals under this initiative.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
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.