Los Lunas Man Arraigned on Federal Production of Child Pornography Offenses
ALBUQUERQUE—Martin Perea, 35, of Los Lunas, N.M., was arraigned this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., on an indictment charging him with nine counts of production of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
The nine-count indictment, which was filed by a federal grand jury on Aug. 25, 2015, alleges that Perea induced and coerced a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography on nine separate occasions between Oct. 2014 and March 2015. The indictment further alleges that Perea committed these crimes in Valencia County, N.M.
Perea was arrested on Aug. 4, 2015, by the FBI on a criminal complaint charging him with production and possession of child pornography, and made his first appearance in federal court the following day. He has been in custody since that time and remains detained pending trial, which has yet to be scheduled.
According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, the FBI began an investigation into Perea on July 24, 2015, when the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office reported receiving information from the Spokane (Washington) Police Department alleging that Perea sexually abused an eight-year-old child and produced child pornography.
The complaint alleges that on July 1, 2015, the victim’s mother discovered pornographic images and videos of Perea and the victim on a memory card she took from Perea’s cellular telephone. The mother allegedly confronted Perea about the pornographic photographs and videos later that day. Two days later, the mother fled with the victim to Spokane, Wash., after Perea allegedly threatened to burn her and her home if she did not return the memory card to him. Once in Spokane, the mother contacted local law enforcement authorities to file a complaint against Perea.
After the memory card was transferred from the Spokane Police Department to the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI obtained a federal search warrant for the card. On July 28, 2015, the search warrant was executed at the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory where the contents of the memory card were downloaded. The complaint alleges that the memory card contained approximately 111 video files and more than 980 image files, including multiple videos and images which allegedly contained child pornography.
If convicted on the production of child pornography charge, Perea faces a prison sentence of not less than 15 years and not more than 30 years in federal prison. Perea also would be required to register as a sex offender. Charges in criminal complaints and indictments 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 Valencia County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico Computer Forensic Laboratory with assistance from the Spokane Police Department.
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 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 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.