SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - In less than one week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (ICE) special agents, arrested three Puerto Rican men on child pornography charges. The arrests coincide with April's Crimes Against Children Awareness Month.
On Monday, Fernando Morales-Ramos, 30, of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, was arrested for possession of child porn after a forensic examination of his computer revealed the presence of images depicting child pornography.
On April 19, ICE HSI special agents arrested Danny Soto-Valera, 25, at his place of residence in Levittown, Puerto Rico, for transferring obscene material to a female minor. According to the ICE HSI investigation, Soto-Valera allegedly requested sexual explicit images from a 14-year-old female minor and persuaded her to engage in sexually explicit conversations.
On April 20, Alex J. Rosario, 30, of Aibonito, Puerto Rico, was arrested by ICE HSI special agents for possession of child pornography after a forensic analysis of the material seized during a March 17 search warrant revealed the presence of images depicting child pornography. The investigation stemmed from a referral by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
"Three child exploitation-related arrests in less than one week is simply alarming and shows how aggressively ICE HSI works with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who think that they can't get caught by hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Puerto Rico. "Child exploitation, in all its forms, is a serious, despicable crime that ICE HSI will investigate fiercely to bring those responsible for harming our children to justice."
If convicted, Morales-Ramos and Rosario, face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Soto-Valera faces a sentence of up to 15 years.
These arrests are part of Operation Predator, an ICE-led 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. Individuals with information about suspected child predators are encouraged to call 1 866 DHS 2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.