Albuquerque Man Arrested on Federal Child Exploitation Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Bentley Streett, 38, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested this morning by the FBI and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) on federal child exploitation charges. Streett made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today and remains in custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Oct. 6, 2014.
Streett is charged in a criminal complaint with inducing and enticing minors to engage in sexual activity; the interstate transmission of obscene matter to minors; and attempting to produce child pornography. According to the criminal complaint, in Oct. 2013, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children forwarded a tip that Streett allegedly had engaged in the online solicitation of a nude photograph from a 15-year-old child victim to the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. A search warrant on a cellphone account allegedly subscribed to Streett revealed numerous text messages between Streett and the child victim, and the child victim allegedly confirmed that Streett requested that she send nude photographs of herself to him and that she declined his request.
The complaint alleges that in Feb. 2014, the BCSO seized Streett’s cellphone when they executed a search warrant at Streett’s residence. A forensic examination of Streett’s cellphone revealed that from Nov. 2013 to Jan. 2014, the cellphone allegedly had been used to send text messages to a 15-year-old child victim in El Paso, Texas. In Nov. 2013, Streett allegedly sent text messages requesting that this second child victim send nude photographs of herself to him. At the time, the second child victim was 14-years-old. In Nov. 2013 and Jan. 2014, Streett allegedly sent the second child victim photographs of nude male and female bodies, including photographs of individuals who appear to be under the age of 18. The FBI initiated a federal investigation on Sept. 18, 2014, after receiving a referral from the BCSO.
If convicted of the charges in the criminal complaint, Streett faces a federal prison term of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years. Streett also would be required to register as a sex offender. Charges in criminal complaints are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the BCSO and the New Mexico ICAC Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shammara H. Henderson 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 http://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 74 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 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.