Las Cruces Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Possession of Child Pornography Charge
ALBUQUERQUE—Juan C. Rodriguez, 36, of Las Cruces, N.M., pled guilty yesterday afternoon in Las Cruces federal court to possession of matter containing visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Rodriguez will be sentenced to 37 months in federal prison to be followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Rodriguez also will be required to register as a sex offender.
Rodriguez was arrested on April 23, 2014, by the FBI on an indictment charging him with one count of possession of child pornography. The indictment alleged that Rodriguez possessed child pornography in Doña Ana County, N.M., between June 2013 and Aug. 2013.
During yesterday’s hearing, Rodriguez pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that between June 6, 2013 and Aug. 22, 2013, he used a computer and computer-related media to download child pornography using a peer to peer network. In his plea agreement, Rodriguez acknowledged that law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence on Aug. 22, 2013, and seized his computer and computer-related media. He further acknowledged that a forensic examination of those items uncovered approximately 30 still images and five videos consistent with child pornography.
Rodriguez was remanded into custody after entering his guilty plea. He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of FBI and the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory with assistance from the Denver office of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander B. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office 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 part of the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (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 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.