Baltimore man pleads guilty to distributing child pornography
BALTIMORE - Rafael Luis Mieles, 25, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to distributing child pornography in connection with an online ad he posted seeking to have sex with a father and son. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department, Special Agent in Charge William Winter of ICE HSI in Baltimore and Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the FBI.
According to the plea agreement, on Feb 17, 2010, while working undercover, a Baltimore County Police detective answered an online Craig's List ad posted by Mieles that stated, "Looking for some good family fun with incestuous father son sexually active couple. hit me up with pics for trade. lets do this." The detective responded to the ad via email stating he was a parent of a 12-year-old autistic boy and was interested in the ad.
The next day, Mieles emailed the detective stating that he was very interested in communicating with him, and sent the detective a picture of himself. Mieles asked the detective if he had "pedo pics to trade." Mieles told the detective that he wanted to perform oral sex on the detective's 12-year-old son and wanted the 12-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him. Mieles also sent an image and a video depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
On March 1, 2010, Mieles sent the detective five videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Mieles continued to discuss, in explicit detail, his desire to perform various sexual acts with the detective's 12-year-old son. While Mieles was communicating via the Internet with the detective, the detective informed Mieles that his 12-year-old son was sitting at the computer with him. Mieles turned on his webcam and began to masturbate while he thought the 12-year-old boy was watching. Mieles agreed to meet the detective and the 12-year-old boy at a hotel in Baltimore County to have sex.
On March 2, 2010, Mieles again contacted the detective via the Internet and confirmed that he would meet the detective and the 12-year-old boy at the hotel. Law enforcement observed Mieles leave his residence and get into a cab. When Mieles arrived at the hotel he was arrested by members of the Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit. Officers searched Mieles and seized a cell phone, a laptop containing child pornography, a stack of discs and two toy cars, which cars he had promised to bring for the 12-year-old boy. Mieles admitted that he intended to have sex with the individual he was communicating with via the Internet as well as the individual's 12-year old autistic son.
As a result of his guilty plea, Mieles will be required to register as a sex offender in the place where he resides, where he is an employee, and where he is a student, under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
As part of the plea agreement, Mieles and the government have agreed that if the court accepts the plea agreement, Mieles will be sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by supervised release for life. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. has scheduled sentencing for May 12, 2011.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the Baltimore County Police Department Crimes Against Children Unit, ICE HSI and the FBI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bonnie S. Greenberg and Tamera Fine, who are prosecuting the case.
This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE 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.
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.