LAS CRUCES, N.M. – A local middle school basketball coach was arrested Tuesday on federal child pornography charges by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and officers from the Las Cruces Police Department.
Erik Khan, 32, of Las Cruces, was arrested on a criminal complaint charging him with distributing, receiving and possessing child pornography. Khan, who has been employed as a basketball coach at a Las Cruces middle school, made his initial appearance in federal court in Las Cruces May 23 and is being held without bond.
According to the criminal complaint, Khan allegedly distributed, received and possessed child pornography from Sept. 9, 2011 through May 7, 2012, in Doña Ana County, N.M. If convicted of either distributing or receiving child pornography, Khan faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. If convicted of possessing child pornography, he faces up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The criminal complaint alleges that the Las Cruces Police Department initiated an investigation in September 2011 when it began to monitor a specific Internet Protocol (IP) address used to distribute, receive and possess child pornography.
The investigation revealed that the IP address had been issued to Comcast. The Comcast account that had used the IP address when the child pornography was distributed and received contained a street address in Las Cruces. According to the complaint, on May 9, 2012, when officers visited that address, Khan identified himself as the sole resident. The officers executed a state district court search warrant at the residence and seized external hard drives in Khan's bedroom that allegedly contained hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are 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.