FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A 35-year-old former assistant swim coach at the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale was sentenced today to 151 months in prison for transporting child pornography following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Federal Bureau of Investigation and Broward Sheriff's Office investigation.
The investigation began when the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), a group of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies aimed at combating child exploitation, received a cybertip from America Online that Roberto M. Caragol was distributing child pornography on the Internet. Thereafter, ICE special agents and deputies from the Broward Sheriff's Office interviewed Caragol and recovered a computer from his residence. A subsequent forensic examination of the computer by ICE's Cyber Crime Unit revealed approximately 40 thumbnail images of boys under the age of 18, engaged in sexual activity. In March 2009, Caragol pleaded guilty to the charges of transporting child pornography.
The arrest of Caragol 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.
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.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Tantillo.