TUCSON, Ariz. – Uriel Gonzalez-Perez, 32, of Douglas, Ariz., was sentenced on April 4, 2019, by U.S. District Judge James A. Soto for separate offenses to concurrent terms of 120 months’ imprisonment and 46 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. Gonzalez-Perez had previously pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and conspiracy to commit false statements in connection with the purchase of firearms. Both investigations were spearheaded by special agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
On Dec. 8, 2017, Gonzalez-Perez, a former Mexican police officer, was stopped during an outbound inspection at the Douglas Port of Entry. His vehicle contained 500 .50 caliber BMG links, items that are prohibited from being exported without a license. Further investigation revealed that Gonzalez-Perez and his two co-defendants were obtaining firearms and ammunition by falsifying paperwork required to purchase firearms legally. Gonzalez-Perez was illegally exporting the firearms and other items to Mexico.
A search of Gonzalez-Perez’s cell phone revealed numerous photos and videos of child pornography. HSI special agents were able to identify the child and adult female depicted in the images; they were living in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and HSI provided that information to Mexican authorities. Mexican authorities arrested the adult female, who was the child’s mother, and she was later sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment in Sonora, Mexico.
The prosecution was handled by Erica L. Seger, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.
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.