SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Canovanas resident was arrested Wednesday for possession of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) probe that revealed that he shared images and videos depicting child pornography over the Internet.
HSI special agents arrested Jonathan E. Clemente-Semidey, 27, after a referral from the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit led to an investigation that revealed that a person with Clemente-Semidey's computer IP address logged onto the Internet and shared child pornography on numerous occasions through Ares, a peer to peer file sharing application.
On Aug. 6, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Clemente-Semidey's residence and seized several digital media items, including a number of hard drives. A preliminary forensic examination of the materiel seized yielded positive results for child pornography.
According to the criminal complaint, HSI special agents explained to Clemente-Semidey how they obtained information regarding an individual who was using a peer to peer program called Ares. They explained they knew that someone, using an IP address assigned to his residence, was downloading files containing child pornography. The charging document further alleges that Clemente-Semidey stated he uses Ares to download videos and that he had observed and downloaded videos of child pornography.
"Accessing, downloading and sharing child pornography constitutes a very serious crime that HSI will fiercely investigate in order to identify the alleged perpetrator and potential victims," said Ricardo Mayoral, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Make no mistake, if you use the Internet to download child pornography, you will be identified, arrested and prosecuted."
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia Meconiates.
Clemente-Semidey had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos Lopez. He was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo awaiting the outcome of his case.
In June 2011, the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) was created by HSI San Juan to respond to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalating number of predatory crimes against children. The task force is a partnership between HSI San Juan and members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders.
Through PRCACTF, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state government agencies to effectively pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Through the task force, law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with a unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.
The task force and its investigations are part of 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.