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Child Exploitation

ICE arrests Las Cruces man on child pornography charges

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A retired Army captain, who allegedly stored numerous images on his home computer of minors being sexually exploited, was arrested here on Monday by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

David Dube, 55, was arrested on federal charges after ICE forensic agents found dozens of images of naked prepubescent girls among the computers seized from his house in Mesilla Park, N.M. Some of the pictures included men naked below the waist with the young girls.

Dube, now employed as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor, is charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. He is currently in federal custody.

Earlier this month, ICE, FBI, Las Cruces Police Department and the Doña Ana County Sheriff's Office opened an investigation on Dube based on a lead the New Mexico Attorney General's Office received from the New York Police Department.

On Nov. 9, Las Cruces Police Department officers arrested Dube after the Doña Ana County District Attorney's Office charged him with three counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor under the age of 13 in the second degree. His arrest followed an interview in which Dube admitted to authorities that he had sexual contact with two Las Cruces-area children. That information was verified by the children.

That same day, ICE special agents executed a federal search warrant on Dube's home and seized four computers and various forms of digital media. The images discovered included adult males having sexual contact with the young girls.

Last month, Dube began communicating in an online chat room with a New York Police Department detective assigned to the Bronx District Attorney's Office. The detective posed as the mother of a 9-year-old girl. The two communicated for about a month. During those conversations, Dube admitted to having sexual encounters with two children. He also expressed interest in having sexual contact with the woman's 9-year-old daughter.

ICE special agents assigned to the Las Cruces Resident Agent in Charge Office initiated its investigation after learning of those discussions.

Earlier this month, Dube made arrangements with the undercover detective, posing as a mother, to take her 9-year-old daughter to El Paso, Texas, where he reserved a hotel room. However, a few hours before the meeting was to occur, Dube cancelled the meeting.

"ICE is resolved to work jointly with our law enforcement partners to seek out individuals who sexually exploit innocent children," said Julio Velez, acting special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in El Paso. "It's a high priority for ICE to identify and investigate anyone who victimizes the most vulnerable among us."

Dube is detained in the Doña Ana County Detention Facility on federal charges. He is scheduled to have an initial appearance on Tuesday before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. In the meantime, he also faces state charges, for which he was released on bond earlier this month.

This arrest is 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. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,600 individuals, including 1,160 in Texas.

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.