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Child Exploitation
12/09/2010

Puerto Rican man to spend 8 years in prison for possession, distribution of child porn

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A 50-year-old man, of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison, followed by an additional eight years of supervised release, for possession and distribution of child pornography following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rafael Soler-Prieto was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 9, 2009 after a forensic analysis of the computers, memory card and portable drives seized during a search warrant of his residence on May 19, 2009 revealed material depicting child pornography and its distribution through an Instant Messaging (IM) service. He was arrested by ICE HSI agents on July 13, 2009 for possession and distribution of child pornography.

"This sentencing 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 HSI 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."

The 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.

ICE encourages the public to report 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 and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.