RICHMOND, Va. - Carlos A. Santos, 56, of Richmond, Va., was sentenced Tuesday to 108 months in prison for receipt of child pornography following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
According to court documents, ICE agents in Cleveland, Ohio, detected Santos was trading child pornography images with an Ohio resident using an AOL e-mail address. After obtaining e-mail subscriber information and other corroborating information, ICE agents in Virginia executed a search warrant at the defendant's Richmond residence and recovered a computer hard drive, CD disks and floppy disks.
A subsequent forensic examination revealed thousands of images of child pornography and dozens of movies of child pornography saved on the computer hard drive and CDs. The recovered images and movies consisted of graphic depictions of minors being sexually abused, including minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct with adults as well as sado-masochistic conduct. Evidence showed that the defendant used AOL to download the material from the Internet.
This investigation is part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 12,000 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. 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.