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Child Exploitation

Former El Paso high school teacher pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Former El Paso high school teacher pleads guilty to child pornography charges
Former El Paso high school teacher pleads guilty to child pornography charges

EL PASO, Texas — A former high school dance instructor pleaded guilty Aug. 2 to child pornography charges, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Marco Antonio Alferez, 35, pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting children and distributing child pornography. Alferez faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 50 years in federal prison.

According to the factual basis filed in this case, and admitted to by the defendant, ICE HSI special agents assigned to the Cyber Crimes Group executed a search warrant at Alferez' residence on Sept. 21, 2010, and seized his computer and more than 100 videotapes.

A subsequent forensics review of the computer revealed the presence of 98 commercially available child pornography videos. The computer also contained about 150 self-produced, hidden camera videos depicting children in a dressing area during various stages of undress, including full nudity.

In each of the self-produced videos, the defendant can be seen initially setting up the hidden camera and often heard off-camera instructing his students to take off all of their clothes in order to try on clothing he supplied.

The videotapes also contained similar scenes of children from five El Paso schools where Alferez taught, including two elementary schools, one middle school and two high schools. Furthermore, the two of the self-produced, hidden-camera videos depict Alferez engaging in sexual relations with a minor female. In all, Alferez's recordings contained about 400 child victims.

Alferez remains in federal custody pending sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, an 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. Since ICE launched Operation Predator in 2003, more than 12,800 child sex predators, sex tourists and child pornographers have been arrested.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators by calling at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.