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August 20, 2020San Juan, PRUnited StatesChild Exploitation

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests San Juan-area man charged with 12 counts of child exploitation

Homeland Security Investigations focuses on protecting children as part of Operation Predator

SAN JUAN – Following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and a Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF) investigation, a federal grand jury returned Aug.19, an indictment against Francisco Xavier Ortiz-Colón charging him with 12 counts of child exploitation. HSI special agents arrested Ortiz-Colon the same day at his place of residence without incident.

The indictment charges Ortiz-Colón, 22, of San Juan, with one count each of possession and receipt of child pornography and five counts each of production of child pornography and coercion and enticement of a minor. The charging document alleges that from Aug. 2019 through June 2020, Ortiz-Colón, at different dates, induced, enticed and coerced 9 to 14-year-old female minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.

“This case has to be one of the most aberrant child exploitation cases investigated by HSI San Juan in terms of the charges filed against the individual as well as his modus operandi,” said Ivan J. Arvelo, special agent in charge for HSI San Juan and U.S. Virgin Islands. “This man told to one of his victims “they (referring to law enforcement) will never catch me,” – he was caught and now faces a long time in jail if found guilty in a court of law.”

“The production of child sexual abuse material is a horrific crime that can negatively affect victims for their entire lives,” said U.S. Attorney Muldrow. “I am thankful to those who stopped this defendant from committing further crimes. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our law enforcement partners, are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting these crimes.”

Ortiz-Colón had his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce McGiverin Thursday. He was transferred to the Guaynabo Metropolitan Detention Center awaiting the outcome is his case.

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 25,000 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 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 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. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. 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: 12/15/2020