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August 14, 2020San Juan, PR, United StatesChild Exploitation

Puerto Rican man sentenced to 17 years for production of child pornography

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a Puerto Rican man was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Court Chief Gustavo A. Gelpí to 17 years in prison followed by a period of 30 years of supervised release.

On Nov. 20, 2019, Enrique Sánchez-Hernández, of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. According to the government’s evidence, Sánchez- Hernández made a recording of his sexual abuse of an 8-year-old minor using his cellular phone. A citizen discovered the recording in June 2018, when the abandoned phone was found in Río Grande. The Puerto Rico Police Department referred the case to ICE HSI, who were able to identify Mr. Sánchez-Hernández from the video and arrest him.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas W. Cannon of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation Section.

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.

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.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.