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Child Exploitation
03/25/2010

Puerto Rican man sentenced to more than 34 years in prison for drug trafficking and sexual exploitation of children

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A 44-year-old man was sentenced yesterday in district court to 415 months in prison for sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy to distribute narcotics following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

Carlos Rivera-Malave was indicted in April 2009 for possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy to distributed narcotics within 1000 feet of a school, public housing or playground. He pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation charge on Sept. 3, 2009, and on Oct. 7, 2009, he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.

District Judge Carmen Consuelo-Cerezo sentenced Rivera-Malave to 355 months in prison for the sexual exploitation charge and to 60 months for the conspiracy charge to be followed by a life term of supervised release.

"There is nothing more important than protecting our children from criminals, whether they are child predators or drug dealers," said Roberto Escobar Vargas, special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in San Juan. "Through Operation Predator and our agents' investigative authorities, ICE is in a unique position to carry out this critical responsibility. We will continue to use all our resources to bring these unscrupulous child predators to justice."

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.