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Child Exploitation
01/21/2010

ICE arrests Puerto Rican man for child porn and sexually enticing a minor

SAN JUAN, P.R. - A 53-year-old Puerto Rican man was arrested Jan. 20 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents for sexually enticing a minor and production of child pornography.

Jose Joaquin Pabon Santiago of Cabo Rojo was charged with violations of Title 18, U.S. Code, sections 2256(2) and 2251(a). Specifically, the criminal complaint alleges that Pabon Santiago induced, enticed or coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct using materials that had been mailed, shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

"This sentence is a stern reminder of the consequences awaiting those who sexually exploit innocent children," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, acting special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "Some predators mistakenly believe that their crimes will go unnoticed because of the age of their victims; however, ICE will continue using it's unique authorities to identify, arrest and prosecute those who endanger the most vulnerable segment of our society-our children."

Pabon Santiago had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin on January 20.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenifer Hernandez.

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign-national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested almost 12,000 individuals through Operation Predator.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

Please note that a complaint is an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.