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February 7, 2018San Juan, PR, United StatesChild Exploitation

CBP officer indicted, arrested for child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer charged with advertising, receiving, distributing and possessing child pornography was arrested today at his place of residence in Toa Alta. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working jointly with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted the investigation that led to the arrest.

HSI special agents arrested Alfredo Maysonet-Galarza, 57, of Toa Alta, after a joint ICE HSI and DHS OIG investigation revealed that during 2015, Maysonet-Galarza used a well-known peer-to-peer file sharing program to advertise for sharing certain videos and images depicting prepubescent minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 

The indictment alleges that Maysonet-Galarza downloaded several videos depicting several female minors under 12 years of age, engaging in sexually explicit acts with adult males. Maysonet-Galarza is also charged with knowingly possessing more than 1,000 images and videos involving prepubescent minors engaging in similar sexually explicit conduct. The images and videos had been shipped or transported using a means or facility of interstate and foreign commerce and were produced using materials that had been mailed, shipped and transported in and affecting interstate and foreign commerce, including by computer. 

The defendant also faces a forfeiture allegation that includes the forfeiture of all materials or property used, or intended to be used in the receipt, distribution, or possession of child pornography. 

“This case demonstrates that there are serious consequences for advertising, receiving, possessing, and distributing illegal images of innocent children being sexually exploited and traumatized,” said Orlando Baez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. “Predators who victimize innocent children for selfish gratification must know that we will not rest until they are brought to justice. Words cannot describe the harm that these crimes inflict on children. Working with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners, we will continue to investigate predators and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law.”

“The defendant’s conduct in this case is particularly troubling due to his role as a federal law enforcement officer,” said United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez. “Individuals who advertise, receive, possess, or distribute child pornography work hard to evade law enforcement and disguise what they are doing. For every tactic taken to evade law enforcement, we will adapt our strategies to find them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

If found guilty, Maysonet-Galarza faces a sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

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 16,000 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 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.