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Child Exploitation

ICE special agents arrest Albuquerque-area man on 4-count child pornography indictment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A local area man was arraigned Jan. 6 on a federal indictment charging him with child pornography. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

ICE HSI special agents arrested Stephen Hensley, 41, on Jan. 4 in his home in the 1000 block of South Heman Street in Tucumcari, N.M. The New Mexico State Police Internet Crimes Division assisted in the investigation, which identified Hensley as receiving, possessing and distributing suspected child pornography.

He was indicted Dec. 20 in the District of New Mexico for violations including receiving visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, and possessing matter containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan C. Torgerson ordered Hensley to reside at a half-way house under conditions of release and pretrial supervision pending trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

A four-count sealed indictment charging Hensley was returned by a federal grand jury Dec. 15. It alleges Hensley received visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct on Dec. 25, 2009, and May 3, 2010.

If convicted of either offense, Hensley faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

The indictment further charges Hensley with two other counts, alleging that on July 1, 2010 Hensley possessed computers containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. If convicted of either of these two offenses, Hensley faces up to 10 years imprisonment. The indictment was unsealed after Hensley's arrest.

The case, which is part of ICE's Operation Predator, was prosecuted by ICE, New Mexico State Police, and the District Attorney's Office for the 10th Judicial District of the State of New Mexico.

"Sexually exploiting children, whether by Internet pornographers or child predators, is a serious crime HSI investigates aggressively," said Manuel Oyola-Torres, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in El Paso. "Our special agents value the cooperation and expertise of our local law enforcement partners, and will continue to work closely with them to target individuals who victimize children."

Operation Predator is an 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.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators by calling at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. For more information, visit www.ice.gov.