ALBUQUERQUE—Yesterday, the FBI arrested Johncarlos Ortiz, 39, on a criminal complaint alleging child pornography charges, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales. Ortiz, a resident but not a member of Pojoaque Pueblo, New Mexico, made his initial appearance in federal court in Albuquerque this morning. During today’s proceedings, Ortiz entered a not guilty plea and waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He was ordered detained pending trial.
The complaint alleges that Ortiz possessed and distributed child pornography on Sept. 11, 2012, at his residence in Pojoaque Pueblo. According to the complaint, the investigation of the case was initiated in July 2012, after the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) received information that images consistent with child pornography had been posted on a social networking site. The NCMEC sent the tip to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office (NMAGO). In early August 2012, after determining that the images were posted using an e-mail account subscribed to Ortiz, the NMAGO and the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force contacted the FBI. The complaint alleges that, on September 11, 2012, the FBI executed a federal search warrant at Ortiz’s residence and seized a computer and a computer flash drive that allegedly contain images consistent with child pornography.
If convicted of the distribution offense, Ortiz faces not less than five years and not more than 20 years of imprisonment. If convicted of the possession offense, Ortiz faces a maximum 10-year term of imprisonment.
The case was investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI, the NMAGO, the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, and the New Mexico Regional Computer Forensics Lab, with assistance from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, Northern Pueblos Agency, and the Pojoaque Pueblo Tribal Police Department.
The case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case also was brought as part of the NM ICAC Task Force whose mission it is to locate, track, and capture Internet child sexual predators and Internet child pornographers in New Mexico. There are 64 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies associated with the 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.
Charges in criminal complaints are only accusations. All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.