ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — An Albuquerque man was arraigned Monday in federal court on a 14-count superseding indictment alleging child pornography offenses, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Donald Alvin Tolbert, 47, entered a not guilty plea to the superseding indictment during his arraignment June 20 hearing. He remains in federal custody pending trial, which is set for Sept. 19.
Tolbert was arrested Nov. 21, 2014, on a two-count indictment charging him with receiving child pornography from June 1 through Sept. 20, 2012, and possessing a computer that contained child pornography Sept. 20, 2012. The original indictment alleged that Tolbert committed these crimes in Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
The superseding indictment, which was filed June 14, adds 12 new charges against Tolbert. The superseding indictment alleges that Tolbert used ads offering to exchange, receive and distribute child pornography with others between January and September 2012. Also, the indictment alleges that Tolbert committed the crime during a time when he was required to register as a sex offender.
If convicted of the charge involving the ads, Tolbert faces a statutory mandatory sentence of life imprisonment because of his 2006 prior conviction on two counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor in the Second Judicial District Court of New Mexico. If convicted of committing the crime during a time when he should have registered as a sex offender, he faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 10 years of imprisonment, which must be served consecutively to any sentence imposed on the other charges.
The superseding indictment also includes seven counts alleging that Tolbert received child pornography between August and September 2012; three counts alleging that he distributed child pornography between July and September 2012; and two counts alleging that he possessed computers containing child pornography in September 2012. The superseding indictment alleges that Tolbert committed the crimes in Bernalillo County.
If convicted on these charges, Tolbert faces the following penalties: a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years on each of the seven receipt charges and the two distribution charges, and a statutory mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 20 years on each of the two possession charges.
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 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.