Christopher Daves, 25, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Daves faces a maximum sentence of 57 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. He also will be required to register as a sex offender. Daves has been in federal custody since his arrest July 11.
According to Daves' plea agreement, he was arrested as the result of an undercover operation initiated by the New Mexico State Police. Subsequently, HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Daves' residence May 2 and seized his laptop computer. While the warrant was being executed, Daves voluntarily agreed to be interviewed, and admitted to using his laptop to download child pornography on multiple occasions. A forensic examination of Daves' laptop computer uncovered hundreds of images of child pornography.
Daves remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been set. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charlyn E. Rees and Raul Torrez, District of New Mexico.
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-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.