Mesilla Park, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Pornography Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Anthony Black, 28, of Mesilla Park, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon to an indictment charging him with two counts of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Black entered his guilty plea without the benefit of any plea agreement. Black’s guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales and Special Agent in Charge Dennis A. Ulrich, II, of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) El Paso.
Black initially was charged in Nov. 2012, in a criminal complaint with the distribution of child pornography in Doña Ana County, N.M., in April 2012. According to the complaint, on Nov. 14, 2012, law enforcement officers obtained a federal search warrant for Black’s residence based on an investigation that revealed that an IP address subscribed to that residence was being used to distribute child pornography. When the officers executed the search warrant the following day, they seized a laptop computer that was used to share child pornography in April and Oct. 2012. Black subsequently was indicted in May 2013 and charged with two counts of distribution of child pornography.
During today’s plea hearing, Black pleaded guilty to both counts of the indictment. At sentencing, Black faces a term of imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than 20 years. Black has been in federal custody since his arrest on Nov. 15, 2012 and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by HSI, the Las Cruces Police Department, the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office (NMAGO), the New Mexico State Police and the New Mexico Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa A. Lizarraga of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The case was brought 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 www.justice.gov/psc/.
The case also received support from the New Mexico ICAC Task Force, whose mission 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 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.