SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Jose Quintana-Mendez, 43, was sentenced in district court yesterday to 10 years in prison and a term of 15 years of supervised release following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.
Last April, ICE agents arrested Quintana-Mendez, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, after he arranged a meeting with an alleged 14-year-old minor with the intent of engaging in sexual activity. He was charged on April 24, 2009, for violation to Title 18, U.S. Code 2422(b), sexual enticement or coercion of a minor to engage in sexual activities, and Title 18, USC 1470, transfer of obscene material to minors. He pleaded guilty to the sexual enticement of a minor charge on Aug. 11, 2009.
"This sentence is a stern reminder of the consequences awaiting those who use the Internet to 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 the anonymity of cyberspace shields them from scrutiny, when in fact, their use of computers and the Internet have given us new tools in our enforcement efforts to protect children from online predators."
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.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenifer Hernandez.