FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Hipolito Alejandro Felix, 38, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Fort Pierce to attempted production of child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ft. Pierce and the Port Saint Lucie Police Department.
Felix faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison and a potential maximum of 30 years in prison at his sentencing on Feb. 28 before U.S. District Court Judge K. Michael Moore.
After the Port Saint Lucie Police Department received a complaint of inappropriate text messages being sent to a 15-year old girl, ICE HSI special agents and Port Saint Lucie detectives reviewed the victim's cellular telephone and found a photograph of a male, later identified as the defendant, exposing himself. Felix later admitted sending a nude image of himself to the victim's cellular telephone.
ICE HSI special agents and Port Saint Lucie detectives also found two Jan. 14, 2010 text messages sent to the victim's cellular phone, in which Felix requested nude photographs of the victim.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to identify, investigate and arrest aimed at those who prey on children, including human traffickers, international sex tourists, Internet pornographers, and foreign national predators whose crimes make them deportable.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is 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.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.