SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A 37-year-old man from Arroyo was sentenced Friday to 15 years, eight months in prison followed by 20 years of supervised release for production of child pornography. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working jointly with Puerto Rico Crimes Against Children Task Force (PRCACTF), conducted the investigation that led to the arrest and subsequent sentencing of the Arroyo resident.
On April 3, HSI special agents arrested Felix Pagan-Crispin. According to court records, he produced sexually explicit images of minors. His arrest was part of an HSI San Juan initiative and anti-child exploitation campaign dubbed Broken Silence that ran from February through April 2013 and netted 10 arrests during the nine-week period.
"This 15-year sentence is a just one for sexually exploiting children by producing sexually explicit images of them for sexual gratification," said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of HSI San Juan. "Targeting these horrific crimes against children is a high priority for HSI. We will continue to dedicate law enforcement resources to identify and bring to justice child predators who traumatize and victimize children."
In response to the need for an island-wide approach to fighting the escalation of predatory crimes against children, HSI San Juan partnered with members of local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as local and state government officials and community leaders, to form PRCACTF in June 2011.
Through PRCACTF, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies work together with local and state government agencies to effectively pool their resources to jointly investigate all crimes against children in Puerto Rico. Law enforcement officers are encouraged to share evidence, ideas, and investigative and forensic tools to ensure the most successful prosecutions possible. As such, PRCACTF allows law enforcement to speak with one unified voice in defense of the children of Puerto Rico.
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 10,000 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 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
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. 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.
HSI is a founding member and current chair 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.