Albuquerque Man Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 01, 2012|
ALBUQUERQUE—Albuquerque resident Antonio Gallegos, 47, made his initial appearance in federal court this morning on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography. Gallegos was arrested without incident yesterday by the FBI, and is temporarily detained pending a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing scheduled for May 2, 2012.
According to the criminal complaint, Gallegos allegedly distributed, received, and possessed child pornography from August 7, 2011 through March 6, 2012, in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. If convicted of either distribution or receipt of child pornography, Gallegos faces not less than five years nor more than 20 years of imprisonment. If convicted of possession of child pornography, Gallegos faces up to 10 years of imprisonment.
The criminal complaint alleges that the New Mexico State Police (NMSP) initiated an investigation in September 2011, which led to Gallegos’ arrest, when it began to monitor specific Internet protocol (IP) addresses that appeared to be used to distribute, receive, and possess child pornography. The investigation revealed that the IP addresses were subscribed to Gallegos at his residence on the west side of Albuquerque.
On March 6, 2012, the FBI and NMSP executed a federal search warrant at Gallegos’ residence and seized computer media, electronic media, and videotapes. The criminal complaint alleges that the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory examined the items seized from Gallegos’ residence and determined that they contained thousands of images of child pornography.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that the case against Gallegos was investigated by the FBI, the NMSP, and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlyn E. Rees. Gallegos was arrested as part of Operation Artemis, an investigative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement affiliates of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force aimed at identifying individuals throughout New Mexico involved in the distribution, receipt, and possession of child pornography through peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. In March 2012, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers executed 13 unrelated federal and state search warrants at residences throughout New Mexico, and seized computers and computer-related evidence related to child pornography offenses. To date, four individuals have been arrested for violating federal and state child pornography laws based on the search warrants executed as part of Operation Artemis. The law enforcement agencies that participated in Operation Artemis include: Homeland Security Investigations, NMSP, New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, FBI, Albuquerque Police Department, Los Lunas Police Department, Santa Fe Police Department, Rio Rancho Police Department, and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Lab.
Operation Artemis was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The operation also was brought as a part of the New Mexico ICAC Task Force’s mission, which is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 61 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies associated with the ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.
A criminal complaint is only an accusation. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.