NEW YORK - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents arrested a United Nations employee for allegedly possessing images and videos of child pornography on computer equipment in his Manhattan home.
Jose Antonio Ortega-Osona, 40, of Spain, faces charges for possession of child pornography under Title 18 United States Code (USC) Section 2252(a).
ICE agents arrested Ortega-Osona at Newark Liberty International Airport upon his return from Canada. On May 15, 2009, acting on information provided by Canadian authorities, ICE agents conducted a search at Ortega-Osona's apartment in Manhattan. An examination of a laptop computer and external storage drives found in the apartment revealed numerous images and videos of child pornography. Forensic analysis of the file history of the images showed that they were obtained from an Internet website based in Japan. Analysis of some of the file images by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children also identified multiple images of known child pornography on external drives found in Ortega-Osona's apartment.
"The exploitation of children is despicable, and we will go the extra mile to catch those individuals who prey on innocent victims," said Peter J. Smith, special agent-in-charge of ICE's Office of Investigation in New York. "Predators who believe that they remain anonymous in cyberspace are sadly mistaken. Pursuing this type of devious criminal is one of ICE's most important responsibilities."
Ortega-Osona was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Theodore H. Katz in federal court. He's charged with one count of possessing child pornography transported in interstate and foreign commerce. If convicted, Ortega-Osona faces a maximum of 10 years in prison. Judge Katz ordered Ortega-Osona detained pending trial.
The arrest of Jose Antonio Ortega-Osona was part of Operation Predator, a comprehensive ICE initiative aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable. Since the initiative was launched in July of 2003, there have been more than 11,000 individuals arrested nationwide.
Additional information about Operation Predator is available on the Web at www.ice.gov. ICE encourages the reporting of 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 & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.