SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Ponce 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.
HSI special agents arrested Andy Misael Campos-Rivera, 30, after a referral from the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit led to an investigation that revealed that a person with Campos-Rivera's computer Internet Protocol address logged on to the Internet and shared child pornography on numerous occasions.
On July 16, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Campos-Rivera'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.
"Accessing, downloading and sharing child pornography constitutes a very serious crime. HSI will fiercely investigate these crimes to identify the alleged perpetrator, arrest him or her, and obtain solid evidence that will prevail in court," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "HSI San Juan is committed to the children of Puerto Rico and will continue using its robust authorities to identify and apprehend online predators. People can no longer hide behind the once-thought anonymity of the Internet to commit these crimes. With more than 6,700 special agents assigned to more than 200 cities throughout the United States and 47 countries around the world, chances are that if you are involved in child pornography, you will be caught and prosecuted."
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.