LOS ANGELES – A Salvadoran national from Van Nuys was sentenced Tuesday to 145 months in federal prison after being convicted of using the internet to distribute child pornography. The case is the result of a probe by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Following a three-day trial in September 2013, Denis Aviles Salguero, 31, was found guilty of 17 counts of distributing child pornography, one count of receiving child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The evidence presented at his trial showed that Salguero traded child pornography with others, sharing images in his possession to obtain new pictures and video files.
"This defendant freely shared his child pornography collection for the purpose of obtaining additional images, which resulted in his conviction for distribution of child pornography," said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. "The demand for child pornography drives a black market industry that relies on the sexual abuse of children and causes the continued victimization of those children as the images as spread around the world via the Internet."
The case against Salguero stemmed from his uploading of more than a dozen images of child pornography to a Yahoo user group page. Yahoo reported the postings to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which alerted law enforcement officials.
HSI special agents executed a search warrant at Salguero's residence on July 20, 2010 and recovered a laptop computer that showed Salguero used email to receive and send child pornography on numerous occasions in 2009 and 2010. An examination of the laptop revealed 402 still images and 67 videos depicting child pornography, most of which involved boys between the ages of 6 and 14. Some of the images and videos were of boys being molested and raped.
In addition to prison time, Salguero was ordered by U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to 15 years of supervised release following completion of his sentence.
This investigation was conducted under the auspices of 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 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals 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.