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Child Exploitation
02/02/2009

Puerto Rican man sentenced to 30 years in prison for possession and production of child porn

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A 50-year-old predator was sentenced in federal court to 30 years in prison for possession and production of child pornography following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Mariano Claudio, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was arrested by ICE special agents in November 2006 after a search of his residence resulted in the seizure of several computer hard disks and other electronic storage media devices containing explicit images of child pornography.

According to the indictment, Claudio persuaded, induced and enticed a 14-year-old female minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, specifically, lascivious exhibition of the genital and pubic areas for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.  He pleaded guilty to the possession and production of child pornography charges in February 2007.

"Those who seek to harm and sexually exploit our children should know that we will hold them accountable for their actions," said Manuel Oyola Torres, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Puerto Rico. "We will continue working closely with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutors at the local, sate and federal level to investigate and bring child predators to justice."

Assistant United States Attorney Jenifer Hernandez prosecuted this case.

The arrest of Mariano Claudio was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been more than 11,500 individuals arrested nationwide.

Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.