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April 25, 2019El Paso, TX, United StatesChild Exploitation

ICE El Paso special agents arrest local man on child pornography charges

EL PASO, Texas — An El Paso man remains in federal custody following his arrest last week by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) on criminal charges of possessing and receiving child pornography.

Peter Sebastian Felix, 25, had his initial appearance in federal court Monday where a magistrate ordered him detained without bond. HSI Houston initiated this case, and HSI El Paso special agents arrested Felix April 18 after executing a federal search warrant at his eastside El Paso home. Special agents seized a laptop computer, USB drive and an external hard drive; a preliminary forensic review revealed more than 50 files containing suspected child sexual exploitation material.

“HSI’s longstanding Operation Predator program is designed to protect children — the most vulnerable in our society who cannot protect themselves,” said Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso. “We use all our law enforcement resources and authority to bring predators to justice, and to rescue their victims.”

Felix is scheduled to have his preliminary and detention hearing April 25 in federal court. Anyone with any information related to this case should call the HSI Tip Line: 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.

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 19,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2018, more than 3,000 (3,191) child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 850 (859) 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. 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.

Updated: 11/19/2020