On Jan. 4, 2013, HSI special agents arrested Jimmy Caraballo-Colon, 25, at his place of residence. The Greenwood Village Police Department determined he was blackmailing a 17-year-old female from Colorado who he met in an anonymous Internet video chat website.
According to court documents, Caraballo-Colon offered the minor "game points" for removing her clothes. He then proceeded to blackmail the minor by threatening to post the nude recording on the Internet if she did not provide personal information such as her phone number, email, Skype address and Facebook account information. Even though the minor complied with Caraballo-Colon's request, the sextortion escalated. He demanded more sexually explicit acts during video chats, which he also recorded. Caraballo was then charged with 32 counts of production and one count each of possession and transportation of child pornography.
On Wednesday, a grand jury sitting in the District of Puerto Rico charged Caraballo-Colon with 26 additional charges of production of child pornography. According to the superseding indictment Caraballo-Colon induced, enticed and coerced female minors, identified as Jane Doe 1 through Jane Doe 58, to engage in sexually explicit conduct and then recorded that conduct to extort them. The 58 victims identified so far are from California, Texas, Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Vermont and New York, as well as foreign countries such as Australia, Canada and Finland.
"Child exploitation, in all its forms, must be among the most heinous crimes a person can commit, but when the element of sexual extortion or – sextortion – is part of this unspeakable abuse, the aberration is even more nauseating and the emotional pain inflicted on the victim is just overwhelming and hard to endure," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Make no doubt, HSI will continue utilizing all its resources and, along with our federal, state and local partners, will continue identifying those who victimize the most vulnerable segment of our society – our children."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elba Gorbea.
In response to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, HSI San Juan partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders, to form the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force in June 2011.
Through the task force, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state government agencies to investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. This permits law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.
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 the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents 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.