SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A San German-area man was arrested Friday for production of child pornography and transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), working together with the Puerto Rico Police Department’s (PRPD) Sexual Crimes Division conducted the investigation that led to the arrest.
The criminal complaint alleges that Ruben Darío Báez-Aponte, 40, shared sexually explicit images and videos with a 14-year-old minor and, on several occasions, transported the victim to his home to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
Báez-Aponte had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos López Friday. He was transferred to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo awaiting the outcome of his case. His bail and preliminary hearings were set for Oct. 30 and Nov. 11, respectively.
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 16,000 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 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 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.
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.