Martin J. Villalobos, 41, of Lodi, N.J., was convicted following a one week trial before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler. U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey, and Andrew McLees, special agent in charge of HSI Newark, announced the verdict.
According to court documents – as part of an undercover investigation – HSI special agents discovered an individual sharing images of child pornography over the Internet. Special agents used the Internet protocol address of the computer to identify Villalobos as the individual sharing child pornography.
After obtaining a search warrant, HSI special agents found Villalobos in a locked bedroom with eight computer hard drives, more than 100 DVDs and other electronic media. A forensic analysis of the materials found in Villalobos's bedroom revealed that he was in possession of more than 5,000 photographs and more than 150 videos of minors and prepubescent minors, nude and/or engaged in sexual acts with one another and with adults.
Other evidence found in Villalobos's possession showed that he routinely used the Internet to solicit, receive and distribute child pornography. Villalobos is scheduled to be sentenced April 11, 2013, and faces up to 50 years in federal prison.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 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, 1-800-843-5678.
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.