Albuquerque Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Pornography Charge
ALBUQUERQUE—Ruben Nieto, 45, of Albuquerque, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court to an indictment charging him with distributing child pornography. The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement.
Nieto was arrested by the FBI on Nov. 13, 2014, based on a criminal complaint charging him with distribution of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Nieto was charged with committing both offenses in Bernalillo County, N.M., from March 24, 2014 through March 27, 2014. On Dec. 3, 2014, Nieto was indicted and charged with distributing child pornography.
According to court filings, the FBI initiated a federal investigation into Nieto in May 2014, after receiving a referral from the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General (NMOAG), both of which are members of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. In Jan. 2014, investigators identified an IP address that was being used to download and share child pornography. Investigation revealed that the IP address was subscribed to the residence in which Nieto lived until April 2014. In May 2014, investigators executed a search warrant at the residence and seized computers and computer-related media that contained child pornography after learning that Nieto regularly used the computer while he lived in the residence.
Nieto remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing. At his sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, Nieto faces a federal prison term of not less than five years and not more than 20 years. He also will be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI, the BCSO, the NMOAG and the New Mexico ICAC Task Force.
The case was 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 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 NMOAG. Anyone with information relating to suspected child predators and suspected child abuse is encouraged to contact federal or local law enforcement.