Timothy Valdez, 36, was arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents earlier this month based on a tip from Danish law enforcement.
According to court documents, in December 2011, federal special agents and Canadian officials received a referral from Danish authorities about child pornography on the Internet that appeared to originate from North America. The child pornography was in the form of a video in which a male adult was seen molesting a young boy. Through extensive investigative work, the identity of the defendant was established March 9. Valdez was taken into custody the following day.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by HSI with assistance provided by the Modesto Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stanley A. Boone is prosecuting the case.
This case is just one illustration of HSI's ongoing efforts to target sex crimes. On average, HSI initiates more than 260 sex crime investigations a month worldwide. These crimes include not only child pornography, but also sex-based human trafficking and traveling child sex offenders. HSI special agents scour the Internet daily to find child pornography in an effort to rescue victims of sexual exploitation. Last year, HSI examined the equivalent of more than 16 million filing cabinets of data related to child exploitation cases. Since 2003, ICE's Child Exploitation Program has conducted more than 24,000 investigations, made more than 7,600 arrests, and identified and rescued approximately 2,000 child victims.
HSI encourages the public to report any suspected criminal activity involving sexual exploitation by calling their local HSI office or the national hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or via its online tip form.
The prosecution is part of the ongoing Department of Justice program, Project Safe Childhood. For more information about this initiative, visit www.usdoj.gov/usao/cae/psc.