Albuquerque Man Arraigned on Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Randy Martinez, Jr., 20, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arraigned this morning in federal court on an indictment charging him with child pornography offenses. During today’s proceedings, Martinez entered a not guilty plea to the indictment. Martinez was ordered detained pending trial based on a judicial finding that he poses a danger to the community.
Martinez was charged on Nov. 17, 2015, in a five-count indictment with advertisement, receipt and possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. According to the indictment, Martinez published an advertisement in which he offered to distribute and exchange child pornography from Aug. 9, 2015 through Aug. 17, 2015, and received child pornography on Aug. 9, 2015. The indictment also alleges that Martinez possessed child pornography from Nov. 5, 2014 through Aug. 17, 2015. Martinez allegedly committed the crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M.
According to court filings, the investigation into this case was initiated after the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received a cryptic Cybertip on Aug. 17, 2015, in which the sender reported himself for offenses involving the online sexual exploitation of children. After the tip was forwarded to law enforcement authorities in New Mexico, investigation by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office determined the address the tip was sent from and later identified Martinez as the sender of the Cybertip. Thereafter, law enforcement authorities executed a search warrant on Martinez’s phone and allegedly found nearly 3,000 files containing child pornography on the phone. Further investigation allegedly revealed that Martinez also possessed two online cloud storage accounts containing over 5,000 child pornography videos and images.
The search of Martinez’s phone also allegedly revealed that he was an active participant in an online messaging application community devoted to advertising and trading child pornography. Martinez allegedly used this messaging application to receive and share child pornography with other members of the messaging community. The continuing investigation has led to the identification of approximately 70 unique users who allegedly engaged in trading images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children, both in the United States and abroad.
Martinez was arrested on Dec. 7, 2015, on the federal warrant. Prior to his arrest, Martinez was in state custody on the related state charges that were dismissed in favor of federal prosecution.
The statutory penalty upon conviction on the advertisement of child pornography charge is a mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison. The penalty upon conviction on the receipt charge is a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, and the penalty upon conviction on the three possession charges is a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. Charges in indictments are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, Albuquerque office of the FBI and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General with assistance from the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, all of which are members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Mease is prosecuting the case 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 https://www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case 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 80 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.