ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 20-year-old Albuquerque man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to possessing child pornography, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Under the terms of his plea agreement, Andres Salinas faces a maximum sentence of six years, but not fewer than four years in federal prison, followed by a maximum of 15 years of supervised release. Also, he will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his sentence.
HSI special agents arrested Salinas Sept. 4, 2014. He was charged in a criminal complaint with receiving and possessing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was subsequently indicted on the same charges Sept. 23, 2014.
According to court documents, HSI initiated an investigation into Salinas in July 2014 after receiving a referral from the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, which is a member of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
HSI investigators identified an Internet Protocol address that was being used to download and share child pornography. Subsequent investigation revealed that the IP address was subscribed to the residence in which Salinas lived. In September 2014, investigators interviewed Salinas at his residence and he admitted that he had used the file-sharing network to download images and videos consistent with child pornography and child erotica. After learning that Salinas regularly used the computer while he lived in the residence, investigators seized computers, a video recorder, a cellphone and computer-related media that contained child pornography.
During the change of plea hearing May 5, Salinas pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. He admitted that from July 20 through Aug. 9, 2014, he possessed visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Salinas remains detained pending a sentencing hearing that has yet to be scheduled.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob Wishard, District of New Mexico.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2014, more than 2,300 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.