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Child Exploitation

3 Puerto Rican men sentenced for production of child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three Puerto Rican men were sentenced in federal court Tuesday to a collective sentence of 48 years in prison and 45 years of supervised release for production of child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Rey Vilanova-Delgado, 31, of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, was sentenced to 17 years and five months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release. Felix Rodriguez-Acevedo, 32, of Caguas, Puerto Rico, and Zairo Ramos, 29, of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, were both sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by a period of supervised release of 15 years, and 15 years and eight months, respectively.

HSI special agents arrested the three men June 23 on a federal indictment that alleges from about May 2010 through June 2010, while aiding and abetting each other, the men induced a female minor, identified by the initials "KMV," to engage in sexually explicit conduct. KMV was induced to lasciviously perform sexual acts which the men recorded on a digital still camera and a video camera to illegally produce child pornography.

"The arrests of these men in June 2011 for production of child pornography were executed less than 24 hours after the launch of the HSI-led Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF)," said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "These stiff sentences should serve as notice to any individual or criminal organization that perpetrates these despicable crimes against our children that HSI will continue to work with its law enforcement partners - using every tool at our disposal - to keep our children safe."

In response to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, HSI San Juan partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders, to form the PRCACTF in June 2011.

Through PRCACTF, law enforcement and other government agencies work together to effectively pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Through the task force, law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and share investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.

This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, an HSI-led initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. Individuals with information about suspected child predators are encouraged to call 1 866 DHS 2ICE or complete its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.