Crime

Homestead resident arrested on child pornography charges

A Homestead resident was arrested on child pornography charges after federal investigators determined a computer at his home was used to download photographs and videos involving minors in sex acts.

The computer, flagged by investigators on March 9, was eventually traced to a residence in Homestead along the 11000 block of SW 234th Street, according to federal court documents. It was there that federal agents on April 2nd arrested Luis Ricardo Sánchez, a resident in the Homestead house.

It was only the latest federal case against a defendant in a child pornography investigation. Child pornography cases regularly turn up on the criminal dockets of federal court in Miami and other U.S. cities.

Sometimes, these cases draw major media attention. Recently, for example, a man who pleaded guilty in January to child pornography charges, was sentenced to 80 years in the federal penitentiary. That case grew out of an investigation that had started in Miami Beach. Benjamin Cuadrado, who lives in Lakeland, near Tampa, engaged in “sexually explicit conduct” with an infant and a toddler between July 2012 and March 2014 for the purpose of producing videos that he then shared with others via the Internet, according to court documents in that case.

In the Homestead case, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents — armed with a warrant — searched the Homestead home, according to the criminal complaint.

A spokesman said HSI would have no comment because the case is part of an ongoing investigation. Sánchez’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

“After securing the property, agents located two desktop computers, two laptop computers, and two external hard drives,” the complaint said. “One of the desktop computers, one of the laptop computers, and one of the external hard drives revealed numerous video files depicting child pornography.”

Among the files was one with a Spanish-language title Niña cumpliendo su deseo de ser esclava sexual (Girl fulfilling her of being a sexual slave).

According to the compliant, the video was a 3 minute and 23 seconds movie depicting, in part, a minor female being bound across her chest and neck while an adult male fondles her genitals before performing oral sex on him.

After arresting Sánchez, the first thing he told investigators was that his girlfriend from Costa Rica, who was staying with him on the day of the raid, did not have anything to do with the child pornography videos.

“He stated that she has no access to his passwords and therefore is unable to use his computers,” the complaint said. It does not say whether she was arrested or interrogated by agents.

The complaint also says that Sánchez acknowledged to investigators that he used his computers to download child pornoghraphy and that he knew the practice was illegal.

“He said he has been downloading child pornography for approximately 1 to 2 years,” the criminal complaint said.

Sánchez was indicted April 21 and is now awaiting trial possibly in June.

Follow Alfonso Chardy on Twitter @AlfonsoChardy

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