Albuquerque Man Arrested on Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Patrick M. Lopez, 47, of Albuquerque, N.M., was arrested on July 10, 2015, on federal child pornography charges. Lopez made his initial appearance in federal court earlier today. He remains in custody pending a preliminary hearing and detention hearing, both of which currently are scheduled for tomorrow morning.
The criminal complaint charges Lopez with possession of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The charges against Lopez arise from an investigation by the FBI and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). On July 10, 2015, the FBI and BCSO executed a federal search warrant at Lopez’s residence. During the search, forensic examiners found videos consistent with child pornography that had been downloaded onto a laptop computer. If convicted on the charges in the criminal complaint, Lopez faces a federal prison term of up to ten years. Lopez 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 and the BCSO, both members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shammara H. Henderson and Sarah Mease 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 82 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies associated with the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, which is funded by a grant administered by the NMAGO. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.