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Child Exploitation

HSI arrests former naval cadets' corps commander for child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents arrested an Army reservist and former commanding officer of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps Battalion Friday for production and possession of child pornography at his residence in Ceiba, Puerto Rico.

According to a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Thursday, on or about March 23, Edwin Jurado-Nazario, 27, induced a 16-year-old male to engage in sexually explicit conduct, namely the lascivious exhibition of the genital areas and performance of sexual acts, for the purpose of producing still images.

"HSI will not tolerate the exploitation of the most vulnerable members of our society, and will continue working with our partners in the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force to investigate those who exploit our children and deprive them of their innocence," said Angel Meléndez, acting special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "This case is particularly alarming as the defendant was in a position of trust with access to minors. Make no mistake, HSI will continue to investigate and apprehend those who exploit our children, especially those who betray the trust placed in them by committing these despicable acts."

The investigation is part of HSI's Operation Predator, a nationwide initiative to identify, investigate and arrest those who sexually exploit children; and the Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF). As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. 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.

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 the PRCACTF, federal, local and state law enforcement agencies work together with state and local government agencies 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 investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, the PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.

If convicted, Jurado-Nazario faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison per count.